There is considerable variability in the housing that has been developed for psychiatrically disabled people nationwide. The following paragraphs describe housing programs designed for individuals with different levels of service needs.

“New York/New York” Transitional Housing

In 1990, New York City and New York State embarked on a joint program to fund the development of supported housing for homeless people with mental illness. The success of the program in reducing the number of mentally ill homeless people on the streets and in shelters led to its expansion in 1998 and 2005. The transitional housing models funded through the “New York/New York Housing” program are illustrative. Two transitional models are described here (NYS OMH, 2015).

“Apartment treatment housing” is transitional housing that provides enriched support and skills training to individuals in scatter-site rental apartment units. One to three individuals typically occupy an apartment, bedrooms may be private or shared, and the apartment residents are responsible for meal preparation. Licensed by the state, this model offers rehabilitative and support services designed to encourage use of community programs and the forging of connections with family and friends. Services are provided onsite with the goal of preparing the individual for greater independence and permanent community housing.

“Licensed supportive housing” is transitional “extended stay” housing in a community residence that resembles a typical apartment building. Individuals have studio apartments or private bedrooms in suites, and residents are responsible for meal preparation. Supportive services are onsite and are available at all hours. Although this is classified as transitional housing, the average stay is about four years.

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