On November 2, 2012 post the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ (NAEH) CEO Nan Roman posted her remarks at a conference in Australia on their website. Her speech provides an excellent explainer on and history of supportive housing in the United States and also gives a good background on the work of the Alliance.
Roman reports that there are currently 200,000 units of supportive housing in the U.S. that target the 20% of the homeless population that is chronically homeless.
“We have not gone to scale on permanent supportive housing in the U.S., but we have certainly ramped up.”
She spoke about the three steps that took this “from a program model with a scattered set of practitioners to nearly 200,000 units.”
The first step was being able to size the problem, and having a problem that is of solvable scale.
The second step was having a solution to the problem.
The third part of the equation was having a solution that is affordable.
She describes the roles that the federal government, states and private sector have played in working to end chronic homelessness. She concludes,
“At the end of the day, we have not ended chronic homelessness in the U.S. nor solved all of the problems related to providing permanent supportive housing. But we have cut chronic homelessness significantly. And some communities have essentially ended it.”