Understanding Permanent Supportive Housing

How’s Nashville partners have talked a lot about permanent supportive housing. It is the model that we strive to implement.

Dennis Culhane explains “permanent supported housing,” as he calls it, as follows:

“The term ‘permanent supported housing’ does not imply one specific program model, but rather a number of program types and housing arrangements.  Nonetheless, permanent supported housing is broadly defined as subsidized housing matched with accompanying supportive services. Providers of permanent supported housing cover a broad swath ranging from public entities to private nonprofit agencies.”

Continue reading the explanation on the bottom of page 7 in his 2010 white paper entitled Ending Chronic Homelessness:   Cost‐Effective Opportunities for Interagency Collaboration.

One key point is that people’s access to housing helps stabilizes their situation and allows them to deal with underlying issues that have led to the loss of housing to begin with. Permanent supportive housing moves away from the notion that people must follow a continuum of programs from which they graduate to become “housing ready” before they are allowed access to permanent housing.

That is not to mean that permanent supportive housing neglects the need for support services and supportive programs. On the contrary, while support services are not required for a person to sign a lease, service providers assisting people should learn to be assertive in linking people to services to help them maintain their housing.

It is imperative that we, the How’s Nashville partners as a community collaborative, connect people to the supports they need once they are in housing, whether that be health, mental health, educational or vocational training, etc.

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