This review summarizes and evaluates recent research on the effectiveness of housing interventions to result in health care cost savings. There are a number of good studies that have demonstrated that providing permanent supportive housing to homeless individuals can result in significant savings on public health care expenditures—usually more than enough to offset the cost of providing housing and services. There is less research monetizing health care savings associated with other housing programs. However, with new opportunities under the Affordable Care Act and expanded Medicaid, the research provides clear support for collaboration between the housing and health communities on supportive housing programs. At the same time, there is a need to continue to rigorously evaluate housing programs and to include an analysis of health impacts in future studies.
Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D. is NHC’s Vice President for Research and Director of the Center for Housing Policy. Her primary areas of research include the relationship between housing and economic development, residential mobility and demographics.
Janet Viveiros is a senior research associate at NHC. Janet’s research interests center on the connection between affordable housing and education, health and economic self-sufficiency outcomes.