Skip to main content

Evaluation of Supportive Housing Programs for Persons With Disabilities, Vol. I: Findings, 1996


Report Acceptance Date: April 1996 (Vol.I-98p., Vol.II-184 pages)

Posted Date: October 21, 2005

Publication Icon
Historically, the private housing market has found it difficult to address the housing needs of persons with disabilities. However, by combining housing with essential supportive services, HUD continues to play a crucial role in providing housing to this vulnerable segment of the population. A new report, Evaluation of Supportive Housing Programs for Persons With Disabilities, assesses the effectiveness of HUD programs in meeting the needs of persons with disabilities.

The report shows that, because nearly half of all residents of HUD-funded supportive housing are developmentally disabled and more than 20 percent are chronically mentally ill, most residents would experience difficulty living on their own. Furthermore, because residents have average annual incomes of less than $6,500, the majority would have trouble finding affordable housing in the private market.

Projects funded under HUD's Section 202, Section 162, and Section 811 programs offer a variety of supportive services -- meals, transportation, and personal assistance -- in addition to housing. Project administrators report certain impediments to program implementation, including a lack of "seed money" to finance projects, problems finding suitable sites, and a lack of State, community, and neighborhood support.

Nonetheless, the majority of tenants are satisfied with their housing. Approximately 50 percent report that moving into HUD-funded housing improved the quality of life "dramatically," while an additional 30 percent reported it improved the quality of life "somewhat." Frequently cited reasons for moving into HUD-assisted housing include: "a desire to live more independently" (47 percent), "availability of onsite support services" (9 percent), and "handicapped accessible" (9 percent).

Although HUD continues to streamline regulations governing development of housing for disabled persons, the report finds that, on average, it still takes more than 3 years to complete Section 162/811 housing projects. The report highlights the successful development practices in North Carolina -- where 20 percent of the Section 162 and Section 811 projects awarded between 1989 and 1991 were located -- as a model for other States. The success of the North Carolina approach has relied heavily on three factors: 1) State financial assistance and legislative support for group homes for persons with disabilities; 2) a close working relationship among State officials, sponsors, and HUD field office staff; and 3) standardized housing designs that can be quickly reviewed and approved.

Evaluation of Supportive Housing Programs for Persons With Disabilities is a two-volume report: Volume I -- Findings, and Volume II -- Case Studies and Technical Appendices.

ORDER Vol. 1

ORDER Vol. 2

* Volume 1 (*.pdf, 375 KB)
* Volume 2 (*.pdf, 540 KB)
* Volume 1 (*.doc, 469 KB)
* Volume 2 (*.doc, 717 KB)


All Publications
Search for Publications
Search for Ongoing Research