It is important that all members of HMIS, and HMIS using agencies are speaking the same language and have a uniform idea of the same concepts. This article will assist in helping users to understand the difference these two concepts.
Interim Housing Definition
In the May 2017 HMIS Lead & System Administrator Training HUD representatives confirmed that the terms Interim Housing and Bridge Housing are generally used interchangeably. In order to avoid confusion, please try to use the term Interim Housing whenever possible. Please see the definition of interim housing from the HMIS Data Standards:
Interim housing is not a type of housing but rather a housing situation where a chronically homeless person has: applied for permanent housing, has been accepted, a unit/voucher for permanent housing has been reserved for them, but for which there is some other situation that prevents them from moving immediately into housing (e.g. apartment getting painted, old tenant moving out, has a voucher but is looking for the unit, etc.). In such cases, where it has been determined to be absolutely necessary that to keep the client engaged and moving towards housing a temporary solution must be utilized and transitional housing is used the client should then be identified upon move in to the permanent house as coming from “interim housing”.
Update, October 2019
As of the updated 2020 HMIS Data Standards, "Interim Housing" is no longer a response option for Prior Living Situation in HMIS.