Elements of Supportive Housing

Supportive housing is:

  • Permanent. Tenants have leases or lease-like agreements, pay rent and, like all renters, abide by the terms of their lease.
  • Affordable. Tenants typically pay 30% of their income toward rent.
  • Service-enriched. There are social service staff on the premises who provide tenants with whatever support they need to put their lives back on track. Support services are person-centered -- that is, they are based on the individual's needs and desires. Support can include mental health counseling, help with life skills, relapse support, help with getting an education, help getting and keeping a job, help with parenting, linkage to medical care, crisis management and help reunifying with family.
  • Accountable. Supportive housing is run by community-based nonprofit organizations and funded by City, State, federal and private investors, all of whom regularly audit program performance.

Supportive housing tenants are individuals and families who are at risk of cycling between homelessness and emergency and institutional systems without both affordable permanent housing and support services. This includes people who have been homeless, have histories of substance abuse, are coping with mental illness, have chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS, are young adults aging out of foster care, are homeless veterans, are grandparents raising grandchildren.