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Housing alone cannot solve the problems faced by rural low-income people with special needs. There is increasing discussion and acceptance of the idea that these populations require housing plus supportive services to remain stable, safe, healthy, and housed. “Housing plus services” is a framework that provides affordable housing, incorporating various levels of services provided by trained professionals for whom service delivery, not property management, is the primary responsibility. Rural communities face distinct challenges in meeting the needs of their populations, given the geographic and capacity limitations that affect these areas. The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) examined different ways rural housing organizations throughout the United States are meeting the specialized needs of their communities by utilizing housing plus services strategies.

This report is intended to provide a resource to rural community organizations involved with or considering housing plus service developments, including information and technical assistance resources, funding sources, and successful models. The report includes case studies of four rural nonprofit organizations and one rural public housing authority that utilize housing plus services to serve their populations. The case studies examine how organizations are responding to the specific needs of their communities in the face of limited resources. Although each case study examines a different area of the United States, they share certain commonalities such as strong community collaboration, innovative community organizations, and targeted yet flexible housing plus services programs.

Following the case studies is an information and resources guide. This brief guide provides the reader an overview of the different resources available. The reader is strongly encouraged to utilize the outside information sources included in the resources section to gain a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of housing plus services. (Authors)
Washington, D.C.