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Residence Prior to Entry
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Data Element 3.917 Prior Living Situation is collected to identify the type of living situation and length of stay for clients just prior to project start. This data element is used with other information to identify whether a client appears to meet the criteria for chronic homelessness. For additional information, please refer to the HMIS Data Standard Manual.


Type of Residence: 

In this Knowledge Base article, we will take a closer look at Field 1 within the Prior Living Situation Data Element, Type of Residence. For a full list of responses, please refer to Appendix A - Living Situation Response Categories and Descriptions

  • Project Type Applicability: All Programs - All Components
  • Data Collected About: Head of Household and Adults 
  • Collection Point: Project Start
  • Screens in HMIS: Enrollment Screen 


When enrolling a client into a project, the Type of Residence will be recorded within the enrollment screen. The Type of Residence response is intended to reflect from the client's last living situation immediately prior to the Project Start Date, not where the client was on the date the information is being collected. For projects that do not provide lodging, the 'prior' living situation may be the same as the client's current living situation.


Tips for collecting Residence Prior to Entry:

  • Review Appendix A for a full list of living situation responses and descriptions that help identify the appropriate living situation.
  • If a client is entering from a hotel or motel, the user must determine who is paying for the hotel/motel stay in order to determine the appropriate living situation.
    • Hotel/motel stay paid by a service provider: Emergency shelter, including hotel or motel paid for with emergency shelter voucher, or RHY funded Host Home shelter
    • Hotel/motel stay paid by the client: Hotel or motel paid for without emergency shelter voucher
  • If a client is currently enrolled in a Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Re-Housing, or Other Permanent Housing project and has been placed in a unit, the appropriate living situation is below. If the client is transitioning from one project to another, the client's Exit Date in the old project and their Start Date in the new project should be the same date if the client did not experience a gap in their housing. If there is a gap of more than 14 days between the Exit Date from the previous enrollment and the Start Date of the new enrollment, the client will be counted as a return to the homeless system on Project Performance reports.
    • Permanent Supportive Housing/Other Permanent Housing: Permanent housing (other than RRH) for formerly homeless persons
    • Rapid Re-Housing (regardless of the funding source): Rental by client, with RRH or equivalent subsidy
  • If the client is enrolled in a Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Re-Housing, or Other Permanent Housing project but has not been placed in a housing unit, the living situation should reflect where the client stayed immediately prior to entry.


Review the video below for more background on this field, and guidance in determining an accurate value for this field.



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