Opening Doors How to develop reentry programs using examples from public housing authorities

Opening Doors Housing Guide Square


A growing number of public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country are implementing reentry programs and changing their policies to help formerly incarcerated people secure housing. This report highlights 11 PHAs doing this work and examines best practices and lessons learned from their experiences—including key factors of program design and implementation (such as partnerships, program model, and funding), as well as ways to sustain programs once implemented. This guide is intended to serve as a resource for PHAs that are considering their own reentry programs or those that are exploring ways to strengthen existing initiatives.

Key Takeaway

Public housing authorities are using existing resources and developing partnerships with other community stakeholders (such as community-based organizations and departments of corrections) to offer innovative, holistic, and practical solutions that address the housing challenges faced by formerly incarcerated people.

Publication Highlights

  • Successful PHA reentry programs allow PHAs to focus on providing housing while relying on partners to provide services that are beyond the scope of their mandates and resources.

  • Thorough assessments of a PHA’s population, the reentry landscape of its jurisdiction, and goals of partners are prudent to developing a program model that is responsive to the needs and desires of all stakeholders.

  • Deliberate staff engagement strategies and community engagement activities garner support for PHA reentry programs within the housing authorities and with the general public, creating opportunities to spur innovation.

Key Facts