Definition of HUD Transitional Housing

HUD provides funding for transitional housing programs designed to end or prevent homelessness. The mission is to help the homeless by placing them in stable housing. In addition to providing temporary housing, HUD transitional housing programs focus on helping people gain the ability to become financially independent. Participants have a place to call home as they transition to self-sufficiency.

Transitional Housing Defined

HUD defines the term transitional housing as “a project that is designed to provide housing and appropriate supportive services to homeless persons to facilitate movement to independent living. The housing is short-term, typically less than 24 months. In addition to providing safe housing for those in need, other services are available to help participants become self-sufficient.

Homeless Defined

HUD defines the term "homeless" as living in places not meant for human habitation, shelters, transitional housing and exiting an institution they lived in for up to 90 days. The term also includes people losing their primary residence within 14 days who lack the resources to obtain housing. Families that include children in unstable housing and people fleeing from domestic violence also fall under the homeless category.

Promoting Self-Sufficiency

According to HUD, homeless persons can live in transitional housing for up to 24 months and receive supportive services including childcare and job training. Transitional housing programs give homeless people the necessary resources to increase their income. Programs may also provide drug and alcohol treatment, if needed. After the transitional period, participants may qualify for permanent housing assistance. Low-income households or individuals may qualify for the Housing Choice Voucher program, which is used to cover a portion of the monthly rent on a private home.

Fees for Housing

Fees vary among programs. Generally, transitional housing is free for a specified period of time. Programs may charge a flat rental rate or a base rent on the income. Housing types include apartments, condos, single-family or multi-family homes. Properties are commonly furnished with basic necessities, such as beds, appliances, kitchenware, dishes and linens.