The Housing Assistance Screening Tools

The two Housing Assistance Screening Tools offered by CSDA are triaging tools to support better outcomes and prioritise resources for the highest-need housing clients in United States jurisdictions.

Client Survey & HMIS Version

The Housing Assistance Screening Tool (HAST) uses client survey and HMIS data to support prioritisation of highest-need housing clients:

  • Accurately identifies at-risk clients
  • Respects privacy and minimizes intrusive questions
  • Can eliminate reliance on self-reported risk factors that might be stigmatizing
  • Supports better engagement with human services teams
  • Enables faster assessment of eligibility
  • Shorter waitlist and more certainty for clients
  • Allows resources to be directed towards the highest need
  • Potential to flag risk in Black and African American clients more accurately than theoretically validated methods
  • Potential to operate with no evidence of race or age bias

Read our two-page overview of the HAST

Administrative Data Version

The Housing Assistance Screening Tool (Data Warehouse) (HAST(DW)) uses administrative data to support prioritisation of highest-need housing clients:

  • Accurately identifies at-risk clients
  • Respects privacy and minimizes intrusive questions
  • Eliminates reliance on self-reporting
  • Supports better engagement with human services teams
  • Enables faster assessment of eligibility
  • Shorter waitlists and more certainty for clients
  • Allows resources to be directed towards the highest need
  • Can flag risk in Black and African American clients more accurately than theoretically validated methods*
  • Can operate with no evidence of race or age bias, positive discrimination for disability

Read our two-page overview of the HAST(DW)

Webinar: "Housing Help: Using Data Analytics for Fair & Accurate Prioritization"

In September 2021 we ran a webinar about the Housing Assistance Screening Tools in the form of a panel discussion.

The webinar was chaired by Joy Moses, Director of the Homelessness Research Institute within the National Alliance to End Homelessness (US) and the panellists were leading homelessness researcher Professor Dennis Culhane (Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, University of Pennsylvania (PA)), Erin Dalton (Director, Allegheny Department of Human Services) and Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, who led development of the tools (Director, Centre for Social Data Analytics, Auckland University of Technology and The University of Queensland).

HAST - Frequently Asked Questions

We will soon share a list of FAQs, including questions raised during the in-depth discussion at the end of the September webinar.

Case Study: Allegheny Housing Assessment Tools

The Centre for Social Data Analytics developed HAST and HAST(DW) tools for Allegheny County, PA (United States), where they have been used to support housing assistance decisions since 2020.

Read about how Allegheny Housing Assessment tool helping to make decisions ‘faster, more efficient’

Further details

Learn more about the Allegheny Housing Assessment tools:

Contact us

To find out more about whether HAST tools are right for your continuum of care service, please contact vivienne.hunt@aut.ac.nz