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Housing: Introduction


Dedicated mental health housing

Dedicated mental health housing is specifically designated for people with mental health problems or co-occurring substance use and mental health problems.

Housing with supports

  • This type of housing is low cost (20–30% of income).
  • Tenants usually have a self-contained unit.
  • Housing may involve a scattered site or it may be congregate, which means that all units are in one building and buildings are generally owned or leased by a mental health program or housing provider.
  • Services are flexible and linked in whole or in part to the housing setting (supportive housing), or they are provided independently of the housing setting (supported housing).
  • Levels of support range in intensity.
  • Services include:
    • mental health support services (e.g., case management)
    • housing support services that focus on maintaining housing security (e.g., finances and budgeting).

Residential care

  • Residents are usually not considered tenants (e.g., landlord tenant legislation does not apply).
  • Kitchen and living facilities are shared. Rooms are often shared.
  • A private operator provides a fixed basket of services (e.g., meals, laundry, housekeeping) to all residents.

Non-dedicated housing

This type of housing is funded by government and is not intended solely for people with mental health and/or addiction problems.

Affordable housing

Publicly assisted housing includes:

  • public housing
  • non-profit housing
  • housing co-operatives
  • housing for people with developmental disabilities
  • member-owned housing co-operatives.

Rent supplements

Rent supplements bridge the gap between market rent and a geared-to-income rent that tenants can afford.

  • Rent supplements are often used to help people move from homeless shelters to permanent housing.
  • Many landlords want to be assured that supports and services for tenants are in place before they agree to participate in a supplement program.

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