Your Guide to Supportive Housing

Housing is a difficult expense for individuals to deal with, especially in low-income American households.

If you are someone or know someone that cannot handle housing costs and are at risk of homelessness, then it is essential to see the support options out there.

This is where supportive housing plays a factor.

Many individuals do not even realize that this housing option exists or that it can be helpful for their situation.

That is why it is important to know more about this type of housing and how you can gain from it!

What is Supportive Housing?

Before you dig deeper into the benefits of supportive housing, you should know more about supportive housing and its available different types.

Individuals that go through particular situations will need different forms of support.

Different Characteristics of Supportive Housing

There has been evidence on how well supportive housing can assist those who need it.

That is because it has certain characteristics that can provide help to people.

Some of these supportive housing characteristics include:

  • Affordability and Level of Permanence
  • Integration Opportunities
  • Making Sure There’s the Freedom of Choice
  • Forgiving Requirements

Affordability and Level of Permanence

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set a definition of affordable housing as not spending more than 30% of a person’s wages.

This means that renters of supportive housing will generally spend no more than 30% of their wages on their housing costs.

Integration Opportunities

The main idea of supportive housing is to offer an option that assists people to reach long-term housing security.

This is why people that stay in supportive housing have the option to access facilities such as:

  • Location for public transportation
  • Provider offices
  • Parks
  • Grocery stores
  • Other facilities of the local community that other citizens can reach

Making Sure There’s the Freedom of Choice

Supportive housing is supposed to encourage independence.

This means that it highlights offering individuals the option of choice.

That would include controlling their daily routine and deciding when to come and go as they please.

Forgiving Requirements

When individuals are receiving supportive housing, they need to meet very few requirements to get benefits.

This is because individuals that do not have the best living situations, such as people with bad credit or criminal backgrounds, are the target groups that supportive housing focuses to help.

Fortunately, this means that supportive housing does not generally set “blanket bans.”

However, that doesn’t mean anyone with any type of record can benefit.

If you are a person with a violent background or went through problems with supportive housing, then you might face a challenge in receiving this housing opportunity.

Different Types of Supportive Housing

When it comes to supportive housing, there are several different forms that you can face. Four popular forms of supportive housing include:

  • Emergency Shelters
  • Transitional Shelters
  • Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)

Emergency Shelters

When a family is going through an emergency, emergency shelters should be the first place to turn to.

Emergency shelters are shelters that offer people emergency support services that help them reach temporary stability in housing.

The amount of time that an individual can remain in an emergency shelter will be based on the shelter’s regulations.

One of the purposes of emergency shelters is to provide relief to people who need to find housing for a short period.

However they can also provide services to help people find housing that works for their long-term needs.

Transitional Shelters

Another supportive housing option is a transitional shelter.

Transitional shelters offer a longer-term temporary housing option for people who face housing issues.

Generally, individuals will stay in this housing option for six to 24 months.

It is created to provide relief to people that are going through homelessness.

One of the greatest things about these shelters is that they typically come with supportive services that can assist in their personal life, career, and other aspects.

Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)

When people require housing quickly, this is a great option to think about.

This type of housing support option is a “housing first solution.”

It was created to provide relief to people that do not generally go through homelessness, or non-chronic homelessness.

Individuals that benefit from Rapid Re-Housing have the choice to rent a housing unit of their own while gaining short-term support services from the community.

The main purpose of this supportive housing type is to get a person or household out of their homeless situation as soon as possible.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)

PSH is a type of supportive housing option that can help individuals that are chronically homeless.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets a definition for someone chronically homeless as a person that lives in:

  • Uninhabitable areas (for at least 12 months either consecutively or periodically over 3 years at least 4 different times)
  • Safe havens (for at least 12 months either consecutively or periodically over 3 years at least 4 different times)
  • Emergency shelters (for at least 12 months either consecutively or periodically over 3 years at least 4 different times)
  • Institutional Care Facilities (for at most 90 days and lived in any of the options mentioned above before entering the facility.)

PSH offers intensive support resources with safe and secure housing.

Just like RRH, PSH is also a form of “housing first solution.”

It highlights helping people recover and reach permanent housing as soon as possible while offering supportive services.

What are the Advantages of Supportive Housing?

Many advantages come with supportive housing.

This is because supportive housing can generally offer services to people who need it.

Three main advantages come with supportive housing, which includes:

  • Housing Support Services
  • Personal Support Services
  • Voluntary yet Assertive Services

Housing Support Services

Of course, supportive housing would provide housing support services.

It is in the name!

However, people that get supportive housing can gain the support of service providers.

Service providers can offer assistance to tenants through:

  • Helping renters find appropriate, safe, and sanitary housing
  • Offering assistance to renters in building good relationships with their landlord
  • Providing education on the renter’s duties and rights
  • Intervening to avoid any evictions to take place

Personal Support Services

Service providers can offer various types of support to the healthcare needs of people who are in supportive housing.

This includes:

  • Assisting renters that go through mental and physical health conditions
  • Offering support to renters that deal with substance abuse
  • Guiding individuals that are applying for welfare programs, such as Social Security benefits
  • Helping renters with finding jobs or employment

Voluntary Yet Assertive Services

One of the benefits that come with these services is that they are entirely voluntary.

This means that renters are not obligated to participate in the services that supportive housing offers.

Service providers will constantly follow up with renters and offer to provide services, even if it was not requested by the renters.

This is because service providers are aware that renters can gain a lot from the support services mentioned above.

The Final Verdict

When families and individuals are going through homelessness or hardships in housing, there might be more help than they think.

One specific housing opportunity is supportive housing.

Supportive housing can come in a variety of different forms including:

  • Emergency Shelters
  • Transitional Shelters
  • Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)

Each of these options can help people in different ways.

Most of the benefits that people can receive come from service providers that focus on providing three main principles:

  • Housing Support Services
  • Personal Support Services
  • Voluntary Yet Assertive Services

If you find yourself in a tight spot financially, then you should consider one of these options that will make it easier for you to manage your living situation.

You don’t need to be facing homelessness without any support.