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Building community and creating affordable housing opportunities Steve Walker, Acting Director



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At the Lyon Building in Seattle

At least 70% of the projects’ apartment is reserved for occupancy by individuals who were formerly homeless or at risk of homelessness, and approximately fifty percent are reserved for individuals with identified special needs, such as serious mental illness, chronic substance abuse problems, or HIV/AIDS.

National and Local
Permanent Supportive Housing Projects Outcomes
 Bringing Resources and Best Practices to Meet a Community Need



New York: NY/NY Agreement Cost Study

  • 4,679 homeless people with psychiatric disabilities were placed in service-enriched housing.
  • Average publicly funded services for NYC homeless individual: $40,449
  • Average reduction in use of publicly funded services for participants: $12,145
  • $16,282 per year for each unit of housing constructed
  • Housing Stability: 70% of participants remain in NY/NY housing after one year
  • Service Utilization: 33% decrease in use of medical/mental health services. Use of psychiatric centers down 60% (annual average of 28.6 days dropped to less than 12 days after placement)
  • Criminal Justice System: Precipitous drop in jail (74%) and prison (40%) use

San Francisco: Health, Housing & Integrated Services Network

  • Supportive housing project served chronically homeless adults with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse problems (79%). 
  • At least 14% of tenants had HIV/AIDS. 
  • Nearly all (90%) of tenants came directly from streets or shelter.
  • Housing Stability: 87% housing retention rate
  • Service Utilization: 56% decrease in use of emergency rooms. 37% reduction in hospital inpatient stays, near elimination of residental mental healthcare. Aggregate hospital services went from $737,000 to $403,000 within one year.
    Residential mental health of over $50,000/year was entirely elinimated.
  • Criminal Justice System: There was a 44% reduction in days sentenced to incarceration, but an 88% increase in days sentenced to probation.  (The cost of community-based probation are far less than jail costs.)

Connecticut: Suportive Housing Demonstration

  • Nine housing projects with 281 units of service-enriched permanent housing.
  • At least 70% of apartments reserved for formerly homeless or at risk of homelessness. 50% reserved for those with special needs such as serious mental illness, chronic substance abuse or HIV/AIDS
  • Reduction of the most intensive services (hospital and ER use). Amount of outpatient treatment remained stable. 
  • Housing Stability: 94% housing retention rate. Of 39% turnover: 42% moved, 31% were evicted, 14% died.
  • Service Utilization: 71% decrease in reimbursements to hospitals/nursing homes. $15,000 prior to tenancy, down to $4,500 three years later. Average cost of psychiatric services dropped from $1,148 to $473. Medication costs doubled over 5 years from $677 to $1,626.
  • Criminal Justice System: Not tracked in this study.

Seattle: Lyon Building

  • Provide long-term housing for multiply disabled individuals who are without other options.  Disabilities may include HIV/AIDS, mental illness, substance and other physical/medical conditions.
  • 80% are aged 30-49, 80% male, 78% HIV/AIDS.
  • 100% had mental health diagnosis with 63% multiple diagnoses.
  • This study found tenants with long histories of homelessness were able to participate in this program.
  • Housing Stability: 94% housing retention rate. 92% of participants were homeless at some time, 46% spent more than one-fourth of their adult lives in a homeless condition.
  • Service Utilization: Quality of life ratings showed 76% report being in more control of their lives, 83% report overall improved quality of life.
  • Criminal Justice System: Not tracked in this study.

Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, & Seattle: Lewin Group report

  • Report: Costs of Serving Homeless Individuals in Nine Cities compared the daily costs of supportive housing with the costs associated with shelter use, jail, prison, hospital, and mental hospitals.  
  • In five of the cities, supportive housing provides the least expensive means to serve homeless individuals on a daily basis.  (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Phoenix)
  • In the other four cities, only shelter services were a less expensive option than supportive housing (Atlanta, Columbus, San Francisco, and Seattle).

Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles & New York: Closer to Home Initiative

  • Program focused on six programs (in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.) 
  • Three programs providing supportive SRO housing to adults referred from various settings that served the chronic population. 
  • Three programs provide services to long-term shelter dwellers.
  • This initiative was formed to foster new approaches to helping homeless people with multiple problems and disabilities.
  • The study analyzed residental stability, engagement, and services.
  • The study showed that individuals who have been chronically homeless can be successfully housed if there are low demand housing options available to them
  • Housing Stability: 83% of chronically homeless persons in housing programs remained housed one year later and 77% were still housed two years later. Even among those with the most severe psychiatric disorders, 79% remained housed a year later. Although a high percentage are substance abusers, 79% of substance abusers successfully maintained housing.
  • Service Utilization: Not tracked in this study.
  • Criminal Justice System: Not tracked in this study.











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