Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 139-152

First online:

Housing choice and community success for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness

  • Debra SrebnikAffiliated withUniversity of Washington
  • , Joy LivingstonAffiliated withUniversity of Vermont
  • , Lawrence GordonAffiliated withUniversity of Vermont
  • , David KingAffiliated withUniversity of Vermont

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Consumer choice is a central principle of psychosocial rehabilitation and supported housing approaches. This study assessed level of housing choice and the relationship of choice to community success in supported housing demonstration projects in five states. Assessment of level of choice about housing revealed very limited housing options and a high degree of influence from service providers over housing choice. Despite few options, most respondents liked their housing option(s), and felt they had enough information to make a good housing decision. The relationship of choice to community success over time demonstrated that choice was positively related to housing satisfaction, residential stability, and psychological well-being. Discussion focuses on implications of the findings for mental health services and public policy.