Brief Report

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 381-388

Housing Preferences and Choices Among Adults with Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders: A Qualitative Study

  • Jack TsaiAffiliated withIndiana University-Purdue UniversityConnecticut VA Healthcare System Email author 
  • , Gary R. BondAffiliated withIndiana University-Purdue University
  • , Michelle P. SalyersAffiliated withIndiana University-Purdue UniversityRoudebush VA Medical Center and Regenstrief Institute, Inc.ACT Center of Indiana
  • , Jenna L. GodfreyAffiliated withIndiana University-Purdue UniversityEli Lilly and Company
  • , Kristin E. DavisAffiliated withThresholds Institute

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Housing is a crucial issue for adults with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders, as this population is particularly susceptible to housing instability and homelessness. We interviewed 40 adults with dual disorders, living in either supervised or independent housing arrangements, to examine housing preferences, decision making processes surrounding housing choices, and perceived barriers to housing. We found that many clients indicated their housing preferences had changed over time, and some clients related housing preferences to recovery. Although the majority of clients preferred independent housing, many also described benefits of supervised housing. Clients’ current living situations appeared to be driven primarily by treatment provider recommendations and availability of housing. Common barriers to obtaining desired housing were lack of income and information. These findings have implications for supported housing models and approaches to providing housing for clients.


Recovery Dual diagnosis Housing preferences Severe mental illness Homelessness