Skip to main content
Back to Top

Permanent supportive housing: Assessing the evidence

Date Added to Library: 
Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 15:04
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 
Individual Author: 
Rog, Debra
Marshall, Tina
Dougherty, Richard
George, Preethy
Daniels, Allen
Shoma Ghose, Sushmita
Delphin-Rittmon, Miriam
Reference Type: 
Research Methodology: 
Published Date: 
March 2014
Published Date (Text): 
March 2014
Psychiatric Services
Issue Number: 

Permanent supportive housing provides safe, stable housing for people with mental and substance use disorders who are homeless or disabled. This article describes permanent supportive housing and reviews research. Authors reviewed individual studies and literature reviews from 1995 through 2012. Databases surveyed were PubMed, PsycINFO, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress, the Educational Resources Information Center, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. The authors chose from three levels of evidence (high, moderate, and low) on the basis of benchmarks for the number of studies and quality of their methodology. They also described the evidence of service effectiveness. 

The level of evidence for permanent supportive housing was graded as moderate. Substantial literature, including seven randomized controlled trials, demonstrated that components of the model reduced homelessness, increased housing tenure, and decreased emergency room visits and hospitalization. Consumers consistently rated this model more positively than other housing models. Methodological flaws limited the ability to draw firm conclusions. Results were stronger for studies that compared permanent supportive housing with treatment as usual or no housing rather than with other models.

The moderate level of evidence indicates that permanent supportive housing is promising, but research is needed to clarify the model and determine the most effective elements for various subpopulations. Policy makers should consider including permanent supportive housing as a covered service for individuals with mental and substance use disorders. An evaluation component is needed to continue building its evidence base. (author abstract) 

Geographic Focus: 
Page Count: 

The SSRC is here to help you! Do you need more information on this record?

If you are unable to access the full-text of the article from the Public URL provided, please email our Librarians for assistance at

In addition to the information on this record provided by the SSRC, you may be able to use the following options to find an electronic copy from an online subscription service or your local library:

  • Worldcat to find an electronic copy from an online subscription service
  • Google Scholar to discover other full text options