Housing for Homeless Community College Students: An Experimental Evaluation

tow students walking up the stairs w/ boxes full of belongings

Housing insecurity and homelessness among American community college students are widespread problems associated with reduced odds of college attainment and poor health and well-being. To address these problems in their local community, Tacoma Community College and the Tacoma Housing Authority launched a pilot program in 2014 to offer housing choice vouchers to select community college students. The program’s goal was to leverage affordable housing to promote degree completion or transfer within three years. After its launch, the College Housing Assistance Program expanded to support up to 150 students, received national and regional awards, and became a model for affordable college housing programs.

This working paper (which will be finalized and re-issued by April 2024) describes a rigorous, multi-method evaluation over a five-year period (2017–2022) to understand the College Housing Assistance Program's impacts on college performance and attainment, as well as student health and well-being.


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