In the summer of 2014, the Region of Waterloo received funding towards rent assistance that would help to house 40 individuals experiencing persistent homelessness in the community. The Region was interested in evaluating the impacts of the addition of rent assistance to its STEP Home (Support to End Persistent Homelessness) program in order to guide the future direction of these services. Results from the study indicate that (1) rent assistance is effective at improving housing stability (2) rent assistance is associated with greater perceived housing quality and (3) rent assistance improves quality of life and other psychosocial outcomes.
The research was focused on individuals experiencing persistent homelessness receiving intensive supports in the STEP Home program. A total of 26 participants who received rent assistance in addition to intensive support were compared with 25 participants who did not receive added rent assistance. Interviews were done with both groups at baseline and six month follow up.