by Katy Miller, USICH Regional Coordinator
Permanent supportive housing combines affordable housing with individually tailored supportive services. It is a cost-effective solution to ending and preventing homelessness, especially when targeted to people with the most extensive needs. With a long history of successful permanent supportive housing implementation, Seattle-based nonprofit housing provider DESC (formerly Downtown Emergency Service Center) is using the intervention specifically to offer housing to those who need it most. In providing permanent supportive housing, DESC uses a Housing First approach, which ensures the housing needs of individuals and families are met first with access to individualized services that address the precise issues that tenants are facing.
DESC has been awarded $1.2 million in Federal Continuum of Care Homeless Housing Assistance funds to create 97 units of permanent supportive housing in the Interbay neighborhood downtown. The project will be the 11th supportive housing building for DESC, representing a total of 879 units of housing for men and women living with serious mental illness and other disabling conditions. The new building will focus on providing housing to long-term stayers of emergency shelter, as well as those people experiencing homelessness who are determined most vulnerable by DESC’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool or VAT.
Interbay is an ambitious project and will be DESC’s largest new construction building to date. Slated to open in the fall of 2015, the project will offer intensive services and housing stability for its 97 occupants in need of a permanent place to call home.
DESC also operates 1811 Eastlake, which opened in 2005 and provides supportive housing for 75 men and women. More on 1811 Eastlake can be found in the USICH Solutions Database.