A new report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation validates permanent supportive housing as an essential element of ending homelessness and reveals a key finding: sustained, ample investments in resident services and property operations result in more people staying housed.
The report, Permanent Supportive Housing as a Solution to Homelessness: The Critical Role of Long-Term Operating Subsidies, draws on four years of data from 26 properties operated by seven nonprofit affordable housing developers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is a proven approach to chronic homelessness that combines deeply affordable housing with access to comprehensive health, mental health, and social services.
The report indicates that better resident outcomes correlate to long-term, appropriately scaled funding for property management, janitorial, case management, outpatient health, counseling, and other services that support housing success for people who have experienced homelessness.
Among the report’s recommendations:
- Expand the number of PSH units in California as an essential part of the state’s response to homelessness: on average, at the properties studied, 96% of PSH residents remained stably housed.
- Expand funding for federal project-based rental-assistance vouchers, the single most effective way to finance PSH operations.
- Expand affordable housing developers’ ability to use health care funding for supportive services, such as the Medicaid waivers allowed under CalAIM.
“On behalf of our members, NPH is thrilled to have participated in this compelling research, which reveals what we know to be true: Permanent supportive housing is a proven solution that helps people rebuild their lives and strengthens our communities,” said Amie Fishman, Executive Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), the collective voice of affordable housing for the Bay Area and convener of the PSH Cost Study Working Group. “What we need to do now is to further reduce the complexity of funding streams for housing and services, and increase sustained investments, so we can expand this life-saving lifeline for our neighbors who need it. Because no matter what we look like, how much we earn, or where we lay our heads down to sleep, we all need a safe place to call home.”
Margot Kushel, MD, Director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, said: “Research shows that many people exiting homelessness have significant behavioral health care needs and face barriers to accessing care. We know that individuals with high needs can be successful in PSH when it has high quality supportive services that meet these needs. We must make it easier for PSH providers to access the funding they need to maintain adequate staffing and provide high quality supportive services.”
“Permanent supportive housing is one of the best solutions we have to help our neighbors heal from the trauma of chronic homelessness, especially those with complex health and behavioral challenges,” said Tomiquia Moss, Founder and CEO of All Home. “This report shows how we can make this solution even stronger in California. When we meet people in distress with homes, care, dignity, and respect, everyone in our state will be safer and better off.”
To download the report, visit https://ternercenter.berkeley.edu.
About NPH: The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) is the leading voice of the affordable housing movement of the Bay Area. NPH activates its members to make the Bay Area a place where everyone has an affordable and stable home, regardless of race, ethnicity or income. As a membership organization of more than 750 affordable housing builders, advocates, and community leaders, the collective NPH community has created tens of thousands of affordable homes and supported hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents and community members.
About the PSH Cost Study Working Group: The seven organizations in the PSH Cost Study Working Group include BRIDGE Housing, Eden Housing, HomeRise, MidPen Housing, SAHA Homes, Mercy Housing, and Resources for Community Development. Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation was also involved in the first year of the collaboration. The PSH Cost Study Working Group was facilitated by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH). NPH members interested in joining the PSH Standards of Quality Workgroup or the PSH Advocacy Workgroup should contact Ja’Nai Aubry at ja’email@example.com.
About the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley: The Terner Center formulates bold strategies to house families from all walks of life in vibrant, sustainable, and affordable homes and communities. Our focus is on generating constructive, practical strategies for public policy makers and innovative tools for private sector partners to achieve better results for families and communities.
MidPen Housing Media Contact: Lyn Hikida, firstname.lastname@example.org, c: 415.336.0279
Terner Center Media Contact: Cora Johnson-Grau, email@example.com, c: 310.749.1377