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Home > Data Collection > HUD Standard Data Collection > Prior Living Situation 3.917B
Prior Living Situation 3.917B
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This data element is meant to identify the type of living situation and length of stay in a particular situation immediately prior to Project Start for all adults and heads of household. This particular information also helps to determine if a client appears to meet the criteria for chronic homelessness. For more information, please see the HMIS Data Standards Manual.


Prior Living Situation 3.917 B

Data Element Prior Living Situation 3.917B applies to only the following Project Types:


  • Permanent Housing (including Permanent Supportive Housing, Other Permanent Housing, and Rapid Re-housing),
  • Services Only,
  • Day Shelter,
  • Homeless Prevention,
  • Coordinated Entry System 
  • Transitional Housing


Subjects: All clients


Collection Point: Project Start

Data Collection Instructions

HUD strongly encourages HMIS users to just ask the client for the information and record their answer. Attempting to tie each individual’s response with definitions or documentation requirement is not the attempt of this question. The questions are designed to flow from the client’s last living situation. The flow of questions is different depending on the client's last living situation. Please review Appendix A: Living Situation Response Categories and Descriptions for a completed list of all available options and classification, but all responses will fall under one of the the following categories: 


  • Homeless Situation
  • Institutional Situation
  • Transitional or Permanent Housing Situation or if the client refused to answer, didn't know or if the information is missing
  • Other


The flowchart below (pg 87 of the HMIS Data Standards Manual) will guide you through the questions that will be required to be answered based on the client's responses to each question. HMIS has been programmed to include or exclude questions based on this flowchart.



Because this data element allows for multiple configurations of required questions, HUD recommends that direct data entry should be completed in HMIS rather than using a paper form to record the information. The OC HMIS has been programmed to automatically display only the questions that are required of each client based on their unique situation and the Project Type of the project they are entering. However, 211OC has continued to provide paper intake forms at the request of agencies. To see the required 3.917B questions on the paper form, please see pages 5 and 6 of the HMIS General Intake Form.

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