Permanent Supportive Housing: Evaluating the Evidence for Improving Health Outcomes Among People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2018 Jul 11.


Chronic homelessness is a highly complex social problem of national importance. The problem has elicited a variety of societal and public policy responses over the years, concomitant with fluctuations in the economy and changes in the demographics of and attitudes toward poor and disenfranchised citizens. In recent decades, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the philanthropic community have worked hard to develop and implement programs to solve the challenges of homelessness, and progress has been made. However, much more remains to be done. Importantly, the results of various efforts, and especially the efforts to reduce homelessness among veterans in recent years, have shown that the problem of homelessness can be successfully addressed.

Although a number of programs have been developed to meet the needs of persons experiencing homelessness, this report focuses on one particular type of intervention: permanent supportive housing (PSH). Permanent Supportive Housing focuses on the impact of PSH on health care outcomes and its cost-effectiveness. The report also addresses policy and program barriers that affect the ability to bring the PSH and other housing models to scale to address housing and health care needs.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This activity was supported by a grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation under award number P-1602-08122, California Health Care Foundation under award number 19157, Elsevier, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under award number OPP1139235, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation under award number 20150347, The Kresge Foundation under award number R-1508-252812, Melville Charitable Trust under award number 2015-050, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under award number VA268-16-C-0033/642-C60241. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.