Affordable housing for “high utilizers”
The term “high utilizers” refers to individuals who use multiple public services repeatedly, including the emergency room, drug or alcohol rehab, temporary public assistance programs, and prison. The Department of Housing (DOH) in the Department of Local Affairs would like to prioritize its limited supply of housing vouchers to high utilizers of public services in order to serve the most vulnerable populations, and potentially prevent more costly public service use across systems in the future. Other agencies – including Corrections and Human Services – are also interested in targeting services, particularly preventive services, to this population for the same reason. However, current data sharing challenges make it difficult to obtain a comprehensive picture of public service use across agency boundaries on a routine basis. The Colorado Lab will support the piloting of a research and analytic data sharing solution in state government that will allow for the study of high utilizers. This pilot will serve two purposes. First, it will create field- and research-informed metrics of high service use within and across public agencies that can be used for decision making across state government. Second, it will test drive an infrastructure for more secure and efficient solutions for data sharing that can be used for future research and analytic needs.