The Role of Psychiatry in Permanent Supported Housing

  • Sam Tsemberis
  • Benjamin Henwood
  • Van Yu
  • Alexa Whoriskey
  • Ana Stefancic


Permanent Supported Housing (or as it is sometimes known—Permanent Supportive Housing [PSH]) is a general term that has been used since the mid-1980s to describe an approach that combines the provision of permanent, affordable, or subsidized housing and intensive individualized treatment and support services for people with severe psychiatric disabilities. The type of housing varies and exists on a continuum from individual independent apartments scattered in the community to large single-site congregate residential buildings with anywhere from 15 to 100 units, with occasional buildings having hundreds of apartments. Support and treatment services for these two types of housing also vary with services for tenants in scattered-site apartments provided by off-site interdisciplinary teams, while for those living in congregate settings, services are provided by clinical staff that is on-site, with offices and program space as part of the building. While the structural and operational features of supported housing programs vary, their overall goal is to improve social integration and quality of life of people with psychiatric disabilities, to reduce the problems people have in achieving stable housing and to increase the potential for successful recovery from psychiatric disability.


Motivational Interview Assertive Community Treatment Housing Program Supplemental Security Income Psychiatric Disability 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sam Tsemberis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Benjamin Henwood
    • 3
  • Van Yu
    • 4
  • Alexa Whoriskey
    • 1
  • Ana Stefancic
    • 5
  1. 1.Pathways to HousingNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.New York University Silver School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Center for Urban Community ServicesNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Sociomedical SciencesMailman School of Public Health, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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