Permanent Supportive Housing as a Solution to Homelessness: The Critical Role of Long-Term Operating Subsidies

Jun 23, 2023
Carolina Reid, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, U.C. Berkeley
This study aims to quantify the costs of operating PSH—including both the costs of managing the property and providing supportive services—and examine what the implications of insufficient funding are for properties, staff, and residents. Working with a collaborative of seven affordable housing developers in the Bay Area, we analyzed data on operating and supportive services expenses to understand what influences the costs for 26 properties that include PSH units. We then explored how resident outcomes, including participation in resident services, on-time rent payments, and move outs, were associated with costs. We also conducted interviews and focus groups with 53 staff at the various organizations and properties, and held eight focus groups with 76 residents at different buildings to understand their experiences with services and how these resources impact their day-to-day lives. This report focuses specifically on the role of operating subsidies in managing PSH properties: future reports coming from this research study will explore other factors that influence the success of PSH.
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