Researchers Identify Supportive Housing Options and Costs for People Living With HIV/AIDS

Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Institute for Public Policy Studies subcontracted with Mathematica Policy Research and AIDS Housing of Washington to conduct the AIDS Housing Cost Study, a descriptive study of supportive housing options available to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Supportive housing combines permanent housing with access to social, medical, mental health and substance abuse services for low-income and special-needs populations such as people with serious mental illness, HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders.

Key Findings

  • A wide range of housing assistance options exist across the country for people living with HIV/AIDS, ranging from emergency housing to permanent housing solutions.

  • The permanent housing that is dedicated for people living with HIV/AIDS clusters into four categories:

    • Scattered-site rentals—rental vouchers and certificates are used in the general housing market and provide few on-site services.
    • Low-service buildings—small apartment buildings with eight to 18 units owned or managed by a social service agency that provides few on-site services.
    • Buildings for individuals with mental health or substance abuse problems—which provide an array of on-site services including case management, substance abuse and mental health services, and may offer assistance with money management, daily living, health care, meals and medication monitoring.
    • High-service buildings—which provide a large number of on-site services, with an emphasis on health-related services such as medication monitoring, assistance with daily living and home health care, as well as substance abuse and mental health services.
  • The cost of providing HIV/AIDS housing can be as low as $400 per month or as high as $5,000 per month, depending on the costs of housing in a given city, the intensity of services delivered through the housing and the level of need presented by the residents.