Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NHC 2009 "Pioneering Housing Strategies" Award Finalist the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development

When it comes to developing a tailored, comprehensive affordable housing strategy, collaborative partnerships play a key role in helping communities overcome obstacles related to their specific needs.

In concert with this, NHC Member Partner the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) was named as a 2009 NHC “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award finalist for its partnership efforts with four other entities – both public and private – to create to the Partnership for Permanent Housing (PPH) program in Fairfax County, VA, which was developed to assist homeless families achieve self-sufficiency.

Launched in 2006, PPH teaches valuable life lessons that help participants break the cycle of poverty by creating a solid foundation of life skills, which is also intended to help improve the chance of upward mobility for their children.

PPH measures self-sufficiency in four different areas, including: economic self-sufficiency; stable, permanent housing provided first through rental subsidy and ultimately through homeownership; improved life functioning; and improved well-being of children as measured through educational achievement.

Since its inception, the program has seen measurable results, especially when it comes to education. For example, five clients are participating in GED preparation classes, eight clients are attending college level courses and three clients are participating in vocational training. Additionally, average participant credit scores have increased by 20 points, and 100 percent of the families in the program are on track to complete PPH-related training.

This “full-scope” approach is to be commended for helping to provide stability for area families by also concentrating on a range of complex issues related to cyclical poverty and homelessness.

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