Theory of Change

We developed Trauma-Informed Housing because we believe it ultimately creates strong outcomes for residents and staff, organizations and the affordable housing system as a whole. 


We know that when life hits us with stressful, overwhelming or traumatic experiences, we are more likely to bounce back – be resilient – when we have healthy ways to cope and a supportive environment. A safe, affordable place to call home can foster resilience and support overall well-being. But too often, tight margins and heavy regulation in the affordable housing industry place the focus on compliance and risk management instead.

Trauma can inflence a wide range of outcomes within the housing delivery system, including:

For Residents and Staff
For Affordable Housing Delivery System
Trauma impacts our bodies, brains and behavior, disrupting individual housing outcomes and well-being more generally. It can also take a lasting toll on staff, who have their own encounters with first and second hand trauma in their work and personal lives. Trauma impedes our success as an organization. When residents are unable to comply with complex housing rules and policies, our business suffers. When staff are overwhelmed or exhausted, our mission suffers. When we overlook the impact of trauma on people and communities, we miss opportunities to improve resident, property, and community outcomes – and run the risk of perpetuating harm.
Domains of Trauma Informed Activities
  • Policies – Rules, regulations, requirements
  • Procedures – Processes, steps, best practices
  • Programs – Activities, services, amenities
  • People – Training, tools, accountability
  • Places & Spaces – Dwellings, common areas, offices
Departments or Functions Involved
  • Acquisitions + Development
  • Building Design
  • Property Management + Maintenance
  • Resident Services
  • Human Resources
Outcomes: POAH Residents and Staff

(Individual and Interpersonal Level Change)

  • Improved Resident Well-being and Agency
  • Improved Resident Housing Stability and Economic Security
  • Improved Resident Engagement and Leadership
  • Improved Staff Satisfaction and Well-being
Outcomes: POAH as an Organization

(Institutional Level Change)

  • Decreased Resident and Staff turnover
  • Increased Property Financial Health
  • Improved Delivery on Mission
Our Goal

To develop and test a more effective and equitable model for affordable housing that increases staff wellbeing and retention and improves resident experience, all while improving property performance (more on time rent payments, faster inspections, fewer evictions, etc.).

Helpful Tools

Use these tools to help measure the impact of your trauma-informed efforts.

Outcomes Worksheet
PDF 2 pages 747 KB
Resident Survey
PDF 6 pages 2 MB
Staff Survey
PDF 6 pages 226 KB
Trauma-Informed Housing Theory of Change
PDF 2 pages 313 KB
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