Alaska’s First Pay for Success Program Helps People Experiencing Homelessness Get—And Stay—Stably Housed, Resulting in First Outcome Payment

Emily Bogan, Marie Davidson, and Annie Dear August 24, 2021

As a result of the measured impact the Home for Good program has had on individuals experiencing persistent homelessness in the community, the Municipality of Anchorage made its first outcome payment in July 2021. This payment of $303,000 was made to United Way of Anchorage in support of continued services for the Pay for Success project.

Homelessness is one of the most challenging issues facing the Anchorage community today. Hundreds of individuals in Anchorage not only experience persistent homelessness but also have complex behavioral and medical needs. Without adequate support, this population often requires costly and frequent emergency services. Home for Good provides intensive services and housing support for these individuals, a solution that is proven to address these underlying conditions at scale.

The outcome payment—i.e., a payment that is tied directly to performance as measured by an independent evaluator—is based on months of stable housing achieved by individuals in the program. The independent evaluator, NPC Research, conducted a robust housing stability analysis, which considers housing status (i.e., whether an individual is in a lease), as well as additional data such as absences from housing and service usage. The first evaluator report saw positive results: Among those who were measured for at least six months (16 participants), participants were stably housed for 86% of all possible housing months, triggering a $303,000 payment from the Municipality.

The evaluator also observed reductions in service use for participants, comparing their time in housing with the same period in the year before they were in housing: Participants who were measured for at least six months saw a 77% reduction in Anchorage Safety Center intakes, 69% reduction in Anchorage Fire Department Emergency Medical Services transports, and a 74% reduction in shelter stays.

This is the first of the permanent supportive housing projects actively housing individuals within the Anchored Home strategy. The Pay for Success mechanism differs from typical public funding in that the Municipality did not pay upfront for these services, but instead pays only for results that have been demonstrated. The payment demonstrates the structure is working as intended, as the project was only able to unlock this funding by achieving successful outcomes.

This is the first of six potential outcome payments during the three-year project. Home for Good continues to enroll new participants each week—with almost 60 individuals currently housed by the project and more than 70 in supportive services—and expects to trigger another outcome payment in the fall.

Learn more about Home for Good >