HUD System Performance Measures:
Employment and Income Growth

Mary Ann Priester

Senior Management Analyst
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act mandates that Continuums of Care (CoCs) evaluate their collective work in resolving homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established seven System Performance Measures to serve this purpose. On an annual basis, Charlotte-Mecklenburg is required to report its performance on six of these measures to HUD. System Performance Measures play a pivotal role in securing CoC funding and act as valuable tools for local oversight and system enhancement. This blog is the fourth installment in a series exploring Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s performance on these measures and their implications for the local community.

In this blog post, we offer an overview and present data on System Performance Measure Four: Employment and Income Growth for Homeless Persons in CoC Program-funded Projects.


The HUD System Performance Measures offer a comprehensive assessment of community efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The measures go beyond just tracking the reduction in homelessness numbers and also gauge the effectiveness of the coordinated system in ensuring homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring. These measures include:

  1. Length of Time Persons Remain Homeless
  2. Returns to Homelessness Within 24 Months
  3. Number of Homeless Persons
  4. Employment and Income Growth for CoC Funded Projects
  5. Number of People Who Become Homeless for the First Time
  6. Prevention and Housing Placement for Persons Defined by Category 3
  7. Successful Placement in or Retention of Permanent Housing

This blog series provides a deep dive into each measure, explains the desired outcomes, what is being measured, and who is included. Previous blogs have focused on Length of Time Homeless, Returns to Homelessness Within 24 Months, and Number of Homeless Persons. This blog will focus on the fourth measure: Employment and Income Growth for CoC Funded Projects


Measure 4: Employment and Income Growth for CoC Funded Projects examines change in employment and non-employment cash income for adults enrolled in CoC funded safe haven (SH), transitional housing (TH), rapid rehousing (RRH), and permanent supportive housing (PSH) projects. Charlotte-Mecklenburg does not have any CoC Funded SH or TH projects thus local analysis only includes adults enrolled in RRH or PSH programs.

The measure consists of three components: change in employment or earned income during the reporting period, change in non-employment cash income (any income that is not earned), and the change in total income (both earned income and non-employment income).

These components are examined individually for project stayers and project leavers. A project stayer is an adult who was active in any of the included CoC funded projects on the last day of the federal fiscal year (in this case, 9/30/2022). For stayers, the measure compares an individual’s latest reported income to the most recent income reported prior to the latest.

A leaver is an adult who has exited from any of the included CoC funded projects anytime during the fiscal year (10/1/21 – 9/30/22) and is not active in any other included CoC funded project on the last day of the fiscal year (not a stayer). For leavers, the measure compares the person’s income at project exit to what it was at project start.

The desired outcome for System Performance Measure 4: Employment and Income Growth for CoC Funded projects is to increase the percentage of adults who increase earned or non-employment cash while enrolled in CoC funded RRH and PSH programs.

For federal fiscal year, FY 22 (October 1, 2021-September 30, 2022) in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, 50% of adults currently enrolled in CoC-funded RRH and PSH programs (stayers) increased their total income, a slight increase from FY21 (46%). Most increases in income were from non- employment cash income sources. Forty-seven percent of currently enrolled adults increased their non-employment cash income in FY22 compared to 44% in FY21. Among adults who exited from RRH or PSH programs (leavers), 30% increased total income in FY22, mostly due to increases in earned income. Eleven percent of those who exited in FY22 increased their earned income compared to 7% in FY21, a 4% increase. However, the percentage of adults who increased their income at exit from RRH or PSH has decreased since FY21. This is primarily because fewer exited adults have increased their non-employment cash income.

Analysis of historical data from this SPM shows that increases in income have been primarily due to an increase in non-employment cash income. However, this year there was a notable increase in earned income among system leavers. This may be attributed to efforts by many agencies to focus on supporting households in increasing their earned income. It is important to note that permanent supportive housing projects primarily serve individuals who experience chronic homelessness. More and more RRH and PSH programs have integrated SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) staff into their programs. SOAR staff play a critical role in supporting individuals in their application for SSI and SSDI. SOAR staff support increases the likelihood that an individual’s application will be approved and thus they are more likely to receive non-employment cash income related to their disability.


Analyzing system-level data is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of local care systems for individuals facing homelessness and housing instability. The HUD System Performance Measures provide a framework for conducting this necesscary assessment. Supporting households in gaining or increasing income is essential to ensure long-term housing stability. One of the primary reasons for homelessness and housing instability is insufficient income to afford housing without cost-burden. Supporting households in maximizing their income while engaged with the homeless services system can increase the likelihood that they are able to stay stably housed upon system exit.