Expanding Permanent Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities

Dates of Project: October 1, 2010–June 30, 2012

Field of Work: Permanent supportive housing

Problem Synopsis: Permanent supportive housing combines safe, affordable housing with tailored, coordinated services for residents. Such housing helps stabilize vulnerable people with disabilities and reduce their health care costs. A number of federal initiatives, including the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act, provided an opportunity to expand this approach.

Synopsis of the Work: Technical Assistance Collaborative helped align key federal policies and programs to enable states to expand permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities who are homeless or institutionalized, or at risk of either. The project aimed to tap existing programs that fund housing and services to provide housing for people with various disabilities.

“RWJF funded us to keep talking to all of these folks, to convene them, to get them working together and make sure that permanent supportive housing was viewed as a solution.”— Project Director Stephen Day

Key Results

  • Project staff served as a resource and strategic adviser as federal agencies aligned and expanded permanent supportive housing initiatives. For example, the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services, and Justice are collaborating on a joint policy framework to guide permanent supportive housing.
  • Project staff created and distributed educational resources to support the development of a permanent supportive housing system at state and local levels, anchored by federal policies and programs. The resources included issue briefs and a dedicated website.

"A new federal requirement that state agencies must work together on permanent supportive housing "is a revolutionary activity," says Project Director Stephen Day

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HUD program may produce 2,800 units of permanent affordable housing - not 550 units under less-coordinated approach.