Permanent Housing Attainment

This indicator describes the percentage of clients that exit from emergency shelter or transitional housing into permanent housing, which is defined as a rental house or apartment, public housing, Section 8 housing, Shelter Plus Care housing, homeownership, or permanently moving in with family or friends within 24 months of program entry (or other time frame specified by program).  A higher percentage of households that exit to permanent housing is considered positive.  Programs should compare data annually.  Client data could be collected at intake/enrollment; at 3, 6 or 12 months after point of enrollment; and at termination/exit. Programs might consider creating different measures for chronic and non-chronic households.  

According to HUD (2007), a chronically homeless person is “either (1) an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR (2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.”

Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

Khadduri, Jill. 2005. Measuring the Performance of Programs that Serve Homeless People. Abt Associates Inc.

Retrieved on January 18, 2012 from Community Shelter Board website:

Trutko, John and Burt Barnow. (2003). Core Performance Indicators for Homeless-Serving Programs Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report prepared for HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.  Retrieved on January 18, 2012 from U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services website:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2007). Defining Chronic Homelessness: A Technical Guide for HUD Programs. Washington, DC: Office of Community Planning and Development, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs.

Additional Resources

Urban Institute Metropolitan Housing & Communities Policy Center,

National Alliance to End Homelessness: