Price establishes research institute on homelessness

In collaboration with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles Home for Good Initiative, the USC Price Center for Social Innovation has established the Homelessness Policy Research Institute.

The Homelessness Policy Research Institute focuses on research to inform policy and program design. Photo from USC News.

According to a press release, the institute funded by a leadership gift from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and with support from the Home for Good Funders Collaborative brings together over 30 local and national experts from research institutions to conduct research to address homelessness in Los Angeles County.

“The urgent need to reduce the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County requires a new model of collaboration between researchers and policymakers,” HPRI director Gary Painter said in the news release. “The institute harnesses the collective talent of the region’s top scholars from a range of disciplines, including housing and real estate, economics, behavioral and primary health care … to conduct timely, actionable research that directly informs policymaking at all levels of government.”

Committed to collaboration across universities, HPRI operates with the USC Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness and builds upon the United Way’s aim to end homelessness in Los Angeles County through four main goals.

According to the press release, the institute will strive to foster collaboration and coordination among the researchers. They will also provide current and upcoming research to policymakers and community partners to increase transparency when presenting “on-the-ground work.” Additionally, HPRI plans to inform policy and program design through research and assist the development and coordination of proposal requests.

“This collaboration between policymakers and the research community will ensure that policies and programs aimed at ending homelessness benefit from leveraging Los Angeles’ research resources,” said Bill Pitkin, director of domestic programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “In order to make effective policy and program decisions that positively impact our homeless neighbors, we must ensure that they are informed by research on what works in ending homelessness.”

Through research, experts at HPRI plan to inform funding allocations that directly affect the homeless population. According to the release, these include Measures H and HHH, which provide tax support for new housing developments and an increase in services offered to the homeless. Additionally, the institute is in communication with local and regional homelessness agencies.

“While 58,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County, there are another 700,000 severely rent-burdened households whose housing instability puts them at great risk of homelessness,” said Peter Lynn, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority executive director. “Our partnership with HPRI will allow us to better serve people facing housing crises by evaluating the effectiveness of the programs we have to serve them.”