Tenant Outcomes in Supported Housing and Community Residences in New York

Carole E. Siegel, Judith Samuels, Dei-In Tang, Ilyssa Berg, Kristine Jones and Kim Hopper

July 2006

This study examines whether outcomes in housing, clinical status, and well-being of persons with severe mental illness and a history of homelessness differ between those in supported housing and those in community residences, two housing arrangements that substantially differ in the level of independence that is offered to its tenants.  A quasi-experimental 18-month follow-up study was conducted with 157 persons newly entering supported housing and community residences. The study found that tenure in housing did not differ by housing type.  Substantial proportions of tenants in both models remained housed during the follow-up period. Tenants in supported housing reported greater housing satisfaction in terms of autonomy and economic viability. However, over time, some tenants in supported housing reported greater feelings of isolation.  Independent of housing type, symptoms of depression or anxiety at housing entry increased the risk of poorer outcomes. The researchers conclude that the models of supported housing were viable portals of entry into community housing for homeless persons, even for consumers with characteristics indicating that they would have been more likely to be placed in community residences. However, the results suggest that greater clinical attention should be paid to persons who exhibit depression or anxiety when entering housing.

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