Housing: Introduction

Summary

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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I suggest we include Housing First as an evidence based practice for housing. The Mental Health Commission of Canada recently launched its final report on The At Home/Chez Soi Project. This was the largest social experiment of its kind in the world. Results are compelling! Give people a home, some choice in their lives and support services not attached to the housing and they are able to remain stably housed. Why aren't we thinking about Housing First for all those other people currently living in outdated custodial housing - board and care homes, foster and group homes?
Posted on 13/05/14 10:24 AM.

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