The MacArthur Foundation Mental Health Policy Research Network, according to NAEH, has prepared a series of issue briefs on the intersection of mental health and other areas of public policy, including housing. NAEH stated “the brief on housing examines the challenges that individuals with severe and persistent mental illness face when trying to find safe and affordable housing. It also identifies the key issues that future policies need to address and critical steps for improving housing policy for people with severe disabilities.”
The following are their key issues. We were surprised about the first key issue as that seems to be area in which New Jersey has had significant success with over the last decade with the creation of a significant number of supportive housing units. Perhaps New Jersey is an area they have not studied but should do so soon.
The authors identify three key issues that can help guide future policymaking. First, some persons with severe and persistent mental illness are able to live stable and independent lives in the community. However, we know little about the characteristics of this subgroup or which specific support services ensure their success.
Second, we need a better understanding of landlord discrimination against persons with severe and persistent mental illness. To date, there has been no systematic examination of complaints of discrimination to characterize these landlords, where they are located or the nature of their potentially discriminatory action.
Third, although various case management strategies appear to reduce homelessness, there is little known about the specific service supports that lead to successful outcomes, or the effects of combining case management with different housing arrangements on housing stability.