The Key Principles of Universal Housing

A global pandemic, a housing crisis, and inflation have contributed to a rise in the unhoused population in recent years. As a result, housing advocates and top government officials, including the White House, are prioritizing housing access policies as they move into 2023.

While many stakeholders agree that universal housing is a reasonable policy goal, implementing universal housing remains challenging. The complex needs of individuals and families require specialized case management to get them into suitable homes.

Nonprofits and government agencies address the housing needs of diverse populations by providing emergency housing, rental assistance vouchers, and education and job training to individuals in need. However, placing people in appropriate housing can take time and effort. As demand for universal housing evolves into actionable policies and programs, housing advocates will need systems and technology that support their work.

The Key Principles of Universal Housing

The Principles of Universal Housing

The core philosophy of housing for all is simple enough, but adequate housing is much more than just physical shelter. Appropriate housing must meet an array of client needs, including access to transportation, accommodations for those with disabilities, and proximity to schools, jobs, and family.

Experts in housing policy have defined the central principles that must be in place for housing to be considered adequate:

  • Housing should be secure: Safety is an essential requirement for adequate housing. Homes should be structurally sound and located where individuals can safely go about daily life. In addition, residents should have long-term access to their homes without the constant threat of eviction.
  • Housing should be accessible: Housing facilities must be accessible to those with disabilities. That includes accommodating physical modifications to the housing unit, proximity to transportation, and additional support services an individual may need.
  • Housing should be affordable: Housing costs should not exceed 30% of household income. In addition, policies should be in place to allow rent adjustments in the event of income loss.
  • Housing that meets these requirements should be available to all: All individuals should have access to housing, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, immigration status, legal history, or income.

The “Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,” released in December 2022, stipulates that nonprofit and government entities must record and analyze their programs’ data to determine which services and benefits are most helpful for those in need of housing. In addition, case managers must be able to coordinate government benefits for clients and ensure all paperwork is up to date and benefits are received.

Case Management Software Can Do Some of the Heavy Lifting for You

If your organization is increasing efforts to provide universal housing, we commend you – it’s a lot of work! Fortunately, HMIS software like CaseWorthy can streamline tasks, centralize data, and paint macro and microviews of community needs. Nonprofit case management software allows agencies to collate critical information to ensure clients receive appropriate and relevant services. Housing case management software provides a single platform for client data storage, external housing information, and benefit program data to meet clients’ needs.

CaseWorthy Case Management Software includes features such as:

  • Workflow management
  • Client dashboards
  • Customized reporting
  • Portals for clients and agency staff to fill out forms digitally
  • Virtual case management services

CaseWorthy offers more than client database functionality. Our cloud-based platform is a customizable tool to facilitate new client intake, track program and benefit eligibility, and track outcomes for clients. If you’re ready to start with case management software, we would love to learn more about how we can help you help others.

See how CaseWorthy’s Homeless Management Information System can ensure the best results for your clients.


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