Taking Health Care Home: Baseline Report on PSH Tenants, Programs, Policies

Martha R. Burt

July 2005

In 2003, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded CSH $6 million over two years for the Taking Health Care Home Initiative (THCH).  CSH began working with states and localities through THCH to demonstrate how they can create supportive housing that ends homelessness for people with chronic health conditions including mental illness, alcohol and chemical dependency, and HIV/AIDS, and how that experience can be replicated on a national scale.  This report analyzes survey data from 63 agencies and 149 projects involved in developing and operating permanent supportive housing (PSH) in each of the THCH sites. The survey collected information on the number of PSH units in each site, tenant characteristics, financing strategies, and program policies. The projects reported a total of over 12,000 PSH units in the THCH sites combined - from less than 200 in Spokane to over 4000 in Los Angeles. Close to 90 percent of the units were occupied by tenants who are formerly homeless, and around one-third of the units were occupied by those who had experienced chronic homelessness. The THCH sites used a wide variety of funding sources to develop and operate PSH, and the estimated per-unit revenues were $92,200 for capital, $7,700 for operating expenses, and $6,000 for services. These findings provide a foundation by which to estimate the impact of the THCH initiative on increasing the number of PSH units in operation, the number of chronically homeless individuals served through PSH, and the funding used to support the efforts.

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