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Assisting Families Experiencing Homelessness with TANF Funding: Findings from a Survey of TANF Administrators

Lauren Dunton and Cara Sierks


April 22, 2021

This brief presents the methods Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agencies use to identify families experiencing homelessness, the extent to which agencies use TANF funds to provide housing services to those families– or those at-risk of experiencing homelessness–and what organizations TANF agencies partner with to provide housing assistance.

Abt’s research found that, at this time, many states do not specifically target their TANF funds to assist such families. Reflecting the broad discretion that states have to administer their TANF funds, currently, there is no uniform process in use by states to identify families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, nor is there a standard set of available services or benefits.