Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Youth Independent Living Services (PA-YIL) 6: Supportive Housing for Youth in Transition

The agency provides safe and accessible housing in community settings where youth can continue to receive needed supports and work towards independence.
NA The agency does not provide supportive housing to youth in transition.
2020 Edition




Young adults who receive Youth Independent Living Services obtain safe and stable housing, develop life skills and competencies including work readiness, achieve educational and financial growth goals, and establish healthy, supportive adult and peer relationships.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Acceptance procedures
  • House rules, including regarding overnight guests
  • Supervision and security procedures
  • Procedures for entering a youth’s room or apartment
  • Eviction/discharge policy
  • Eviction/discharge procedures
  • Leasing and/or placement agreements, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth
  • Observe facilities and settings

PA-YIL 6.01

The environment promotes a non-threatening, welcoming, and inclusive approach and fosters trust and engagement for all youth.


Programs should provide an affirming, safe and welcoming environment for all individuals. Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) are greatly overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness. Programs can help to signal that they provide an environment that is safe and welcoming, for example, by posting “visual cues” in the reception or common area such as a nondiscrimination policy or LGBTQ symbols (i.e., posters, stickers, and flags).

Fundamental Practice

PA-YIL 6.02

Acceptance procedures include: 
  1. fair and objective selection criteria;
  2. written notification regarding reasons for non-acceptance; and
  3. connecting youth deemed ineligible to alternative housing options.


Youth in transition oftentimes do not meet conventional housing criteria due to lack of sufficient income or rental histories. Agencies that provide housing to youth in transition should modify acceptance criteria – within legal and/or contractual boundaries – to accommodate this service population.

PA-YIL 6.03

Housing is provided in settings that are readily accessible to public transportation, shopping, and community-based services and resources.

PA-YIL 6.04

House rules are developed with youths’ participation, and youth are encouraged to organize, self-govern, and enforce the rules.

PA-YIL 6.05

Youth are permitted to have guests, including overnight guests, as appropriate to the population and type of living situation, and are informed of their responsibility for the behavior of their guests.

PA-YIL 6.06

The program ensures appropriate supervision and security for its youth resident population, as applicable.

Fundamental Practice

PA-YIL 6.07

Youth are notified in writing about circumstances that permit maintenance personnel to enter a room or apartment without the occupant’s permission, and receive at least 24-hours’ notice when access is required in non-emergency situations.

Fundamental Practice

PA-YIL 6.08

Written policies and procedures regarding eviction and discharge: 
  1. are provided and explained to youth at intake;
  2. are clear and simple, avoiding overly rigid and bureaucratic language and rules;
  3. define specific behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that may result in eviction and discharge;
  4. include timely due process provisions; and
  5. describe the conditions or process for re-admittance.


Programs should be tolerant of youth behaviors and might expect some degree of non-compliance from youth in transition. Early discharge as a disciplinary strategy can have severely negative implications for service delivery goals, and outcomes and records of eviction impact creditworthiness and can hinder youth from obtaining secure housing arrangements in the future.