Transitional Housing

An intermediate step between emergency crisis shelter & permanent housing

Transitional housing refers to a supportive – yet temporary – type of accommodation that is meant to bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing by offering structure, supervision, support (for addictions and mental health, for instance), life skills, and in some cases, education and training.

Transitional Housing is conceptualized as an intermediate step between emergency crisis shelter and permanent housing. It is more long-term, service-intensive and private than emergency shelters, yet remains time-limited to stays of three months to three years. It is meant to provide a safe, supportive environment where residents can overcome trauma, begin to address the issues that led to homelessness or kept them homeless, and begin to rebuild their support network.”

Historically, transitional housing programs were situated within dedicated, building-specific environments, where there was more common and less private space than might be the case in permanent housing environments.

Interim housing is a systems-supported form of housing that is meant to bridge the gap between un-sheltered homelessness or emergency accommodation and permanent housing. In some cases, referred to as ‘transitional housing’, this form of accommodation typically provides services beyond basic needs, or residents more privacy, and places greater emphasis on participation and social engagement. Interim housing targets those who would have been from structure, support and skill-building prior to moving to long-term housing stability, with the goal of preventing a return to homelessness.

In the case of second-stage housing for those impacted by family violence, the key characteristics of this housing are the safety and security it provides, trauma recovery supports, with the aim of preventing re-victimization. Interim housing has time limitations on residency but generally allows for a longer stay (in some cases up to three years) compared to emergency shelters.