Homelessness Predictive Risk Model for Allegheny County, US

CSDA researchers used rich administrative data to build a predictive risk modelling tool to support the prioritisation of clients for longer term housing programs in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (United States). The Allegheny Housing Assessment (AHA) was deployed by Allegheny County in September 2020. The CSDA research team continues to work with the County and partners to fine tune the model and the County is planning to issue a solicitation for an independent evaluation of the AHA in 2021.

Documentation for the AHA includes the Methodology, Frequently Asked Questions, Report on Client Focus Groups, Independent Ethical/Data Science Review and Allegheny County’s Response to the Ethical/Data Science Review.


  • The Allegheny Homelessness Tool (August 2019) - a poster presented at the Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange (D4GX) in New York, September 2019.
  • Using Predictive Risk Modeling to Prioritize Services for People Experiencing Homelessness in Allegheny County. Centre for Social Data Analytics. Auckland, New Zealand. September 2020.
    This report summarises the development and implementation of the Allegheny Housing Assessment, a predictive risk modelling tool, built and deployed by the Centre for Social Data Analytics for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania, United States. The AHA will be used to support the prioritisation of people for longer term housing programs. A prioritisation tool is needed because the demand for housing exceeds supply. The AHA replaces the VI-SPDAT, a prioritisation system without local validation. The methodology provides background to the development of the AHA including a comparison between the AHA and the previously used VI-SPDAT. The methodology provides background on homeless services in Allegheny County and the decision to explore the use of a predictive risk modelling tool, before discussing elements including community engagement, the methodology used to develop the tool, accuracy and the business process it will be used within.

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Quick facts

Location: Allegheny County, PA, United States

Partner/s: Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Timeframe: 2017-