In 2009, Newport News City Council authorized funding to support the development of the Housing Broker Team to address the negative effects of homelessness on children, their families, and the community. The Housing Broker Team strongly believes that homeless individuals and families do not want to be homeless, and if given the opportunity and supportive resources, many individuals and families will become self-sufficient and maintain stable housing.
About the Program
The Housing Broker Team is a program within the Department of Human Services Prevention Services Bureau. The Housing Broker Team program is designed to prevent homelessness before it happens, after it happens, and to keep homelessness from re-occurring. The Housing Broker Team assists individuals / families with housing barriers to locate and secure affordable housing. The Housing Broker Team assists households by providing limited financial assistance and intensive case management services.
The Housing Broker Team's goal is to rapidly re-house households with children under the age of 18 and then identify and coordinate the other supportive services needed to ensure the household is able to maintain stable housing. In addition, the Housing Broker Team leverages other resources to assist households facing eviction from becoming homeless.
How It Works
The Housing Broker Team is able to accomplish this when they are able to identify and develop partnerships with landlords to assist in providing affordable housing. When landlords partner with the Housing Broker Team, they are actively engaged in reducing the number of homeless households in the city, while simultaneously decreasing rental vacancy rates and offering opportunities for individuals / families to become self-sufficient.
A key component of the Housing Broker Team's success is the connection to other agencies and coalitions in the community working to eradicate homelessness. The Housing Broker Team is represented on the Greater Virginia Peninsula Homelessness Consortium, and HBT staff members serve on various subcommittees to develop a coordinated approach and system of care for assisting households that are homeless.