Improving Service Provision at The John and Jill Ker Conway Residence
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The John and Jill Ker Conway Residence is a 124-unit affordable housing development located in the heart of Washington, DC. The building was developed in 2016 as permanent supportive housing (PSH) for individuals exiting homelessness and includes access to voluntary supportive services. As such, over half of the building's residents are formerly homeless individuals, the majority of whom are veterans. PSH residents have access to services via full-time, on-site property management and case management staff. Both locally and nationally, the Conway Residence is considered a model for single-site PSH. While it is deserving of this title, the inherent nature of single-site PSH, which necessitates close contact between property management and case management staff, has resulted in some operational issues at the Conway Residence. The goal of this report is to provide recommendations to improve 1) internal coordination amongst property management and case management staff, 2) external coordination with government agencies and off-site social service agencies, and 3) processes for addressing tenant issues in an effort to increase housing retention. The data collection for this report entailed a literature review and interviews with ten PSH staff in Washington, DC, including case management and property management staff at the Conway Residence. Both the literature review and field analysis assessed the policy and organizational context in which PSH exists, the roles and relationships of service providers within single-site PSH, and modes of client engagement. The field analysis revealed three primary areas for improvement at the Conway Residence: 1) role definition between on-site case management and property management staff, 2) social programming for Conway residents, and 3) on-site medical services for the building's elderly and/or medically vulnerable residents. Sharlene Castle, is an MPA Candidate at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) with a concentration in public and nonprofit management. During Summer 2017, Sharlene interned with Community Solutions at the Conway Residence. This report is being prepared for Chapman Todd, Sharlene's supervisor at the Conway Residence, who works as an independent consultant for Jaydot LLC on homeless and affordable housing projects throughout DC.