Cost of Rural Homelessness:  Rural Permanent Supportive Housing Cost Analysis

Melany Mondello, Jon Bradley, Tom Chalmers McLaughlin, and Nancy Shore

May 2009

This study is the first-ever statewide study of supportive housing in a rural setting, demonstrating that affordable housing with attached services is also effective outside of large metropolitan areas.  The study found that rural supportive housing is less expensive than homelessness and provides people with a better quality of life.  The 163 participants in the study came from all areas of the state, except Greater Portland.  Researchers looked at actual cost records of service providers and individual service records to determine costs.  Permanent supportive housing placements reduced service costs of the following systems:  shelter (99% savings), emergency room (14% savings), incarceration (95% savings), and ambulance transportation (32% savings).   The total cost savings for the six month period was $219,791, or an average of $1,348 per person.

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