Permanent Supportive Housing


What is Permanent Supportive Housing?

According to HUD, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is permanent housing with indefinite leasing or rental assistance paired with supportive services to assist homeless persons with a disability or families with an adult or child member with a disability achieve housing stability. Put simply, PSH is decent, safe, and affordable housing for persons experiencing homelessness and who also have a disability.

Permanent supportive housing can increase housing stability and improve health. It is a cost-effective solution that has been shown to lower public costs associated with the use of crisis services such as shelters, hospitals, jails and prisons.

This video introduces a number of Permanent Supportive Housing projects and their community partners in Pasadena, California.

Impact of Supportive Housing for the Homeless in Pasadena

Key Elements of Permanent Supportive Housing

Tenants have full rights and responsibilities under landlord-tenant law

Participation in support services is voluntary

Tenants do not pay more than 30% of their income toward rent and utilities

Housing is not time-limited

Permanent Supportive Housing Eligibility

All PSH projects in the Ohio BosCoC must serve persons who meet Category 1 of HUD’s homeless definition AND are diagnosed with a disability:

Category 1: Literally homeless individuals/families

Literal homelessness is further defined as homeless individuals /families who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:

  • Sleeping in a place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation, such as a place not meant for human habitation
  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including hotel/motel stays paid for by charitable or government programs)
  • Exiting an institution where the individual resided for less than 90 days and where the individual entered the situation immediately from emergency shelter (including hotel/motel stays paid for by charitable or government programs) or an unsheltered location

Disability Definition

  • A person shall be considered to have a disability if he or she has a disability that:
    • Is expected to be long-continuing or of indefinite duration;
    • Substantially impedes the individual’s ability to live independently;
    • Could be improved by the provision of more suitable housing conditions; and
    • Is a physical, mental, or emotional impairment, including an impairment caused by substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or brain injury.
  • A person will also be considered to have a disability if he or she has a developmental disability, as defined by HUD.
  • A person will also be considered to have a disability if he or she has acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or any conditions arising from the etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, including infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Eligibility must be documented. More information can be found in the Ohio BoSCoC Program Standards in the Documents section of our Guidance and Policies page. Additionally, Verification of Homelessness, Chronic Homelessness, and Eligibility Packet (PSH) can be found in the Templates section of our Training and Templates page.

Chronic Homelessness Order of Priority

All Ohio BoSCoC PSH projects must prioritize chronically homeless individuals or families first, in all cases, and must follow the order of priority described in detail below. Furthermore, when multiple chronically homeless are identified, those individuals/families with the longest histories of homelessness and with the most severe service needs should be prioritized before other chronically homeless with less severe needs and/or shorter histories of homelessness. PSH projects must participate in local PSH Prioritization Workgroups and make prioritization decisions in that workgroup. Additionally, in cases where an eligible chronically homeless veteran has been identified, and that veteran is not eligible for VA programs, PSH providers should prioritize the homeless veteran for assistance.

  1. Chronically homeless individuals/families with the longest history of homelessness and most severe service need.
  2. Chronically homeless individuals/families with the longest history of homelessness
  3. Chronically homeless individuals/families with the most severe service needs
  4. All other chronically homeless individuals

Serving Specific Disability Types

In general, limiting assistance to persons with a specific disability type, such as serious mental illness, is not permitted by HUD, as this is a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The only exception to this is for projects that were originally awarded under the Shelter Plus Care or Supportive Housing Program and renewed under the CoC Program. If certain conditions are met, these projects could be permitted to limit assistance to persons with specific disabilities, (e.g., persons with a mental health disability).

Although CoC-funded projects may target specific subpopulations and develop specialized services for those subpopulations, they are NOT permitted to limit enrollment into the PSH project only to people with specific disabilities or attributes. These projects must also accept clients without a specific diagnosis who would benefit from the project and services.

Additional Resources

Ohio BoSCoC PSH Webinar – May 2, 2018
Ohio BoSCoC PSH Webinar Handout – May 2, 2018
Ohio BoSCoC PSH FAQ – October 17, 2018

The Corporation for Supportive Housing

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