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Equal Housing Opportunities
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Supportive Housing Program (SHP)

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The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) provides funds for the development of supportive housing and supportive services, including innovative approaches to assist homeless persons in the transition from homelessness.  SHP also promotes the provision of supportive housing to homeless persons to enable them to live as independently as possible.  Eligible applicants include public housing authorities (excluding Fayette County, Jefferson County, and the city of Covington) and nonprofit organizations.

Eligible activities include construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, leasing or expansion of transitional shelter facilities, permanent housing facilities for homeless disabled persons, or safe haven facilities for homeless disabled persons.  SHP may also provide funds for development of new or expanded services for the homeless without the development of new shelter facilities, provision of essential support services, costs of facility operations, or administrative costs for grants.

Target Populations

Individuals and families who are very poor, have persistent health conditions or multiple barriers to housing stability, are homeless and/or do not have access to appropriate and stable housing in the community, or would be unable to access or retain housing without tightly linked services.

Models and Strategies

  • Apartment or SRO buildings developed by non-profits for people with special needs
  • Single family homes (may be shared)
  • Rent subsidized apartments leased in the private market
  • Units set aside for people with special needs in rent subsid ized apartments
  • Units secured by project sponsors through long term master lease with private owners
  • Services integrated within existing affordable housing


  • Mental health and substance use management and recovery
  • Vocational and employment
  • Money management and benefits advocacy
  • Coordinated support and case management
  • Community building and tenant advocacy
  • Medical and wellness

Why Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing is proven to help people who face the most complex challenges -- individuals and families who are not only homeless, but who also have serious, persistent issues that may include substance use, mental illness, and HIV/AIDS -- to live more stable, productive lives.

Without a stable place to live and a support system to help them address their underlying problems, most homeless people bounce from one emergency system to the next -- from the streets to shelters to public hospitals to psychiatric institutions and detoxification centers and back to the streets -- endlessly.  The extremely high cost of this cycle of homelessness, both in human and economic terms, can be seen throughout our nation, from our cities to our rural communities.  The ever-increasing momentum of government, corporate and philanthropic investment in supportive housing has been bolstered by research documenting its effectiveness.  Studies indicate permanent supportive housing has:

Positive impacts on health.  Decreases of more than 50% in tenants' emergency room visits and hospital inpatient days; decreases in tenants' use of emergency detoxification services by more than 80%; and increases in the use of preventive health care services.

Positive impacts on employment.  Increases of 50% in earned income and 40% in the rate of participant employment when employment services are provided in supportive housing, and a significant decrease in dependence on entitlements -- a $1,448 decrease per tenant each year.

Positive impacts on treating mental illness.  At least a third of those living in streets and shelters have a severe and persistent mental illness. Supportive housing has proven to be a popular and effective approach for many mentally ill people; it affords both independence and accessible, appropriate support.

A study of 900 homeless people with mental illness provided with supportive housing found 83.5% of participants remained housed a year later, and that participants experienced a decrease in symptoms of schizophrenia and depression. A study of almost 5,000 homeless individuals with mental illness placed in supportive housing through the NY/NY program confirmed that nearly 80% remained housed a year later, with 10% moving on to independent settings.

Positive impacts on ending substance abuse.  Once people with histories of substance abuse achieve sobriety, their living situation is often a factor in their ability to stay clean and sober. A one-year follow-up study of 201 graduates of the Eden Programs chemical dependency treatment programs in Minneapolis found that 56.6% of those living independently remained sober; 56.5% of those living in a halfway house remained sober; 57.1% of those living in an unsupported SRO remained sober; 90% of those living in supportive housing remained sober.

Corporation for Supportive Housing

KHC, on behalf of the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness (KICH), was awarded a $275,000 renewal grant from the Corporation for Supportive Housing as part of a comprehensive effort to end long-term homelessness.  This money will be used to provide supportive services seed grants to promote the creation of supportive housing and provide flexible service dollars to increase the capacity of service providers and support the development of new, sustainable service financing models for the state.  It will also sponsor two annual statewide supportive housing conferences in partnership with the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky to advance the supportive housing industry, build provider capacity, and bring national experts and best practices to the state. 

The original $454,280 award was used to help establish an integrated financing system for the delivery of housing and services through the development of a grant/loan fund, which will provide both services start-up and predevelopment financing to our community partners.  The financing system will allow housing providers and developers to access a wider array of permanent financing.  Educating a more providers and developers about the benefits of supportive housing is a key part of this effort.  The goal was to establish an effective pipeline for more than 530 supportive housing units.  As of December 2005, at the initial grant's conclusion, 579 units are in place or under development.

Developing Supportive Housing in Kentucky

If you are interested in developing supportive housing in Kentucky, contact the person listed below.

Supportive Housing Training Manual  

For more information contact:

 Rosemary Luckett
(502) 564-7630 ext. 317
(800) 633-8896 (KY only)

1231 Louisville Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
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