The term supportive housing can be somewhat vague, but it refers to a housing arrangement in which a person has access to a range of supportive services, including supportive housing counseling, case management, social work assistance, transportation needs and mobility resources. Supportive housing can be provided by the local social service office, the Department of Social Service (DDS), and by the Veteran’s Administration (VA). The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest provider of supportive housing nationwide.
Since the late 1980s, supportive housing has provided a wide range of services to those who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. The most common supportive housing services offered are case management, which help to identify and treat mental health and other similar problems; social work assistance, which focus on helping those with disabilities to develop and maintain healthy relationships within their communities; and transportation assistance, which can be lifesaving for some individuals with disabilities and other problems that require special needs. Case management and social work assistance to provide many of the services that are critical to the well-being of all homeless individuals, and this includes individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because most mental health issues can be preventable, this type of counseling can play a crucial role in keeping those with mental health issues from being forced into an abusive situation.
There are also a number of supportive services that may be available to those in a variety of situations, including single parents, veterans, military members, children, teenagers and others. Some of the programs designed to provide temporary or year-round supportive housing for these various groups include the following: military housing opportunities, foreclosure prevention assistance, detoxification, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, immigration issues, legal assistance, and the aforementioned case management programs. In addition, there are a number of government programs that provide low-cost rental assistance to those in need. This can include the following: the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal National Manufactured Housing Construction Finance Program, the Home Rescue Plan, the Office of Public Health and Social Services, the Social Services Structural Assistance for Loss Mitigation, the Office of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Navajo Nation, and the North American Indian Health Insurance Program.
Some landlords and property owners offer supportive housing as part of their affordable housing options. As a way to keep their properties occupied, some landlords provide short-term supportive housing to tenants who are in a financial crisis. This can be done through tenant supportive housing services, which work with a number of non-profit agencies and landlords to assist with helping homeless people and other vulnerable populations. The goal is to provide tenants with both the stability that comes with a home and the security that are often found in permanent supportive housing. Through tenant supportive housing, tenants are given access to jobs, healthcare, schooling, and other benefits that can help them to better their lives. This can play a huge role in preventing some of the problem neighborhoods and housing developments we have seen in recent years.
In addition to supportive housing, there are a variety of options that are available for those who are interested in turning an apartment building into this type of facility. For example, there are housing cooperatives that can be formed in many neighborhoods to share resources between owners and tenants. These cooperatives can provide lower cost or free housing, as well as opportunities for owners to make money off of the investments in their co-ops. In most cases, it requires a majority vote at the board of owners to allow the association to turn an apartment building into a cooperative housing complex. However, in many areas, where the crime rate is on the rise and the need for quality low-income housing is growing, a cooperative housing cooperative may just be what is needed to provide an option to those who may have otherwise been turned away by traditional apartment complexes.
The economic development of a community is dependent upon the property values surrounding a given area. If a supportive housing facility is developed in an area with low property values, the residents who are unable to afford higher priced apartments will have less of a chance of purchasing a home in that area, due to the lack of available units. Developing an onsite senior center or day care facility in an area with lower property values is also another way to give those who may be struggling to pay high rent a second chance in a neighborhood that could otherwise be too expensive.
Of course, there are drawbacks to developing supportive housing too quickly. One such drawback is that there may not be enough vacancies to support the needs of potential tenants. Many potential investors may be interested in investing in an apartment building, but would rather purchase a supportive housing unit first. It is important to note that this investment can sometimes set-aside the ability of certain residents to remain in their apartment building, should they choose to move. Additionally, the availability of this type of housing can vary depending on the level of demand. If a particular set-aside deal is being sold to a certain set of people, it may not be feasible for all other potential investors to purchase it.
In addition to investing in supportive housing, nonprofit organizations and government programs should work to make sure that the surrounding areas surrounding a given community are safe and provide a good quality of life for those who live there. Many neighborhoods have seen a spike in violence in recent years, with many of the crimes being committed by those suffering from mental illness. A mental health counseling program should be established in an area near the front of the neighborhood. The program should work to ensure that the residents are able to maintain employment and attend church on a regular basis. Neighborhood watch programs are also a great option for those who want to ensure the safety of their neighbors and themselves. These programs usually involve having volunteers who watch for suspicious behavior and report it to the police.