Long Term Effects of Rent Supplements and Mental Health Support Services on Housing and Health Outcomes

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The Canadian study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, recruited over 575 homeless people between 2009 and 2011, and tracked their progress for six years, on average. All genders were included, but almost 70 per cent of the participants were male. The study is the largest and longest study of its kind, and found that six years later, those with high support needs for mental health had 42 per cent greater housing stability on this program compared to the usual services available for housing support.

This means that researchers saw a drop off in people who returned to the streets while they were part of the program.

Our findings provide robust evidence that Housing First has an enduring positive effect on housing stability, even in service rich settings, especially for adults with higher support needs for mental health services.


Stergiopoulos, Vicky, Cilia Mejia-Lancheros, Rosane Nisenbaum, Ri Wang, James Lachaud, Patricia O’Campo, and Stephen W. Hwang. “Long-Term Effects of Rent Supplements and Mental Health Support Services on Housing and Health Outcomes of Homeless Adults with Mental Illness: Extension Study of the At Home/Chez Soi Randomised Controlled Trial.” The Lancet Psychiatry 6, no. 11 (November 1, 2019): 915–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30371-2.


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