Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence311Search all websites

Transition Age Youth Housing Study

Transition Age Youth Housing Study

This research, funded by the New York Community Trust and in partnership with CSH, provides an understanding of the housing trajectories of young adults who exit foster care and residential programs for homeless young adults, including emergency shelters and transitional living programs.  Using administrative data, this study documents which housing resources are used by youth and assesses which youth may be suited for supportive housing or other specific housing resources.

The study follows a cohort of 19,963 young adults, from ages 18 through 21, who exited foster care or homeless services (including Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) services) between 2008 and 2013. Subsequent service use was measured for one-, two-, and three-year outcome periods. Risk and protective factors were also analyzed based on prior service use, demographic characteristics, and history of foster care.


Within two years of exit:

  • 63% of the sample did not return to either homeless services or jail
    • Notably, these youth may access and continue to need other non-housing services not captured in this study, such as support services for health, employment, or education.
  • 14% of the sample had a stay in a single adult shelter
  • 12% had a stay in a families with children shelter
  • 2% had a stay in an adult families shelter
  • 13% had a jail stay
  • 20% of age-eligible youth had a stay in a Runaway and Homeless Youth crisis shelter
  • 7% had a stay in a transitional independent living program
  • approximately 2% of the sample moved into a supportive housing unit.

Several factors consistently increased the risk of future homelessness and criminal justice involvement: Previous multiple stays and longer stay durations in the justice system and/ or homeless services; utilizing services from multiple agencies; and multiple moves while in foster care. Alternatively, having a subsidized exit from a system significantly decreased the risk of later service use.

These factors that predicted later use of homeless shelter services and jail systems were not found to decrease the likelihood of success in supportive housing for individuals who had been placed. Therefore, using these factors to prioritize housing resources may help better match youths’ needs to services without decreasing the success of the program. These factors can help shape policies and tools to prioritize youth for housing resources, including supportive housing.


Housing Trajectories of Transition-Age Youth


Funded by the New York Community Trust
In collaboration with the Corporation for Supportive Housing
NYC Administration for Children's Services
NYC Department of Youth and Community Development
NYC Department of Homeless Services
NYC Human Resources Administration
NYC Department of Correction
NYC Housing Authority