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Everyone Deserves a Home

Supportive housing is a combination of housing and services intended as a cost-effective way to help people live more stable, productive lives. Supportive housing is widely believed to work well for those who face the most complex challenges – individuals and families with extremely low incomes, and who either meet the HUD definition of homeless or who have a describable “special need condition.” A special need condition can be defined as a physical impairment (including profound deafness and legal blindness) or a mental or emotional impairment that is of long-term duration, and at the same time, the tenant must have a substantial and sustained need for supportive services to successfully live independently.

Supportive housing can be coupled with such social services as job training, life skills training, alcohol and drug abuse programs and case management to populations in need of assistance. Supportive housing is intended to be a pragmatic solution that helps people recover and succeed while reducing the overall cost of care. Services in supportive housing are flexible and primarily focused on the outcome of housing stability.

Throughout the state of Michigan there are over 2,500 housing units targeted for supportive housing tenants. The eligibility for supportive housing is determined by a local lead service agency and the management company for each property. These apartments and homes have been provided with a federal or state subsidy to make the unit affordable to residents with incomes at or below the 30 percent area median income for that county. Learn more about our permanent supportive housing units around the state by clicking on the points on the map below.

Why We Need Supportive Housing

Too many men, women, and children experience homelessness in the United States:

  • At least a half a million Americans do not have a place to call home each night.
  • As many as one percent of all Americans find themselves homeless at some point each year.
  • As many as 250,000 American households—including at least 12,000 to 15,000 families with children—have nowhere to call home for years on end.
  • Ten percent of those who become homeless every year are people who are homeless for the long term; they use 50 percent of shelter capacity.

For chronically homeless people—who measure their homelessness in years, instead of weeks or months—mental illness, substance use, and physical disabilities often create additional barriers to stability and a new life off of the streets.

Supportive Housing is Permanent Housing

People who live in supportive housing sign leases and pay rent, just like their neighbors. Supportive housing and shelters are not the same thing, but they complement each other. Shelters work well for what they’re designed for - emergencies and short-term situations, not as long-term housing.

A Final Thought on Supportive Housing

It costs essentially the same amount of money to house someone in stable, supportive housing as it does to keep that person homeless and stuck in the revolving door of high-cost crisis care and emergency housing. CSH’s cost studies prove that we can either waste money prolonging people’s homelessness or spend those dollars on a long-term solution that produces positive results for people and their communities.