Report finds $1.8 million reduction in hospital expenses in first year of housing
A new report from Charlotte shows that supportive housing can dramatically reduce a formerly homeless person’s use of hospitals, emergency rooms and jails.
The study, available here, finds that the 85 tenants of Moore Place have increased incomes, greater social support, fewer arrests and decreased medical expenses within one year of moving into supportive housing. The findings on medical expenses are particularly striking: Tenants billed nearly $1.8 million less in medical expenses during their first year in housing as compared to the previous year. This represents a 70% reduction in hospital and emergency room use.
Moore Place Permanent Supportive Housing Evaluation Study reaffirms what more than two dozen studies have previously shown: that an investment in supportive housing can lead to significant cost savings. The report has already received substantial press coverage from the Huffington Post, the Charlotte Observer and other outlets.
“Housing the homeless not only saves lives – it’s actually cheaper than doing nothing,” concluded the Huffington Post.
In addition to the above findings, the study reports that tenants had a housing retention rate of 84%, visited the emergency room 447 fewer times and were hospitalized 372 fewer times once housed. On average, hospital bills per tenant dropped from $41,542 in the year before housing to $12,472 in housing.
This report was prepared for the Urban Ministry Center by faculty from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Department of Social Work. We encourage you to read and share this latest positive assessment of supportive housing!