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Study Links Reduced Use of Mental Health Facilities, Nursing Homes and Other Public Services to "Smart Investments" in Supportive Housing
Date:4/1/2009

Illinois Could Save Millions on Expensive Social Services

CHICAGO, April 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Affordable housing that provides on-site services for people who are homeless, have a mental illness, and other vulnerable populations could dramatically reduce the use and cost of expensive public services such as state prisons and mental health facilities, according to a new report released Thursday by the Heartland Alliance Mid-America Institute on Poverty (MAIP), the Supportive Housing Providers Association (SHPA), and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).

The study found that Illinois saw an overall 39 percent cost reduction in the use of public services, such as inpatient mental health care, nursing homes, and criminal justice, over a two-year period after a sample of 177 individuals were moved into supportive housing. The shrunken need for public services yielded a total overall cost savings of more than $850,000 -- an average savings per resident of $2,400 per year.

"Illinois could see significant savings from the most expensive users of public services, such as those with mental illness or substance use, if more supportive housing units are made available," said Katrina Van Valkenburgh, CSH. "This study, like others we've done across the country, demonstrates that supportive housing works and is a wise investment of public dollars."

"Now more than ever, our most vulnerable populations need to count on a support system inclusive of housing to survive challenging times. Illinois' public services are already strained and facing fiscal woes. But an investment in supportive housing now could save the state a significant amount of dollars long term," says Janet Hasz, Executive Director of SHPA. "Supportive housing provides residents the tools to lead stable, healthy and independent lives. Once they leave us, they no longer need to rely on the state sy
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SOURCE Corporation for Supportive Housing; Supportive Housing Providers Association; Heartland Alliance Mid-America Institute on Poverty
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