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Supportive housing creates significant value for communities


November 19, 2018

VANCOUVER – For every dollar invested in supportive housing, as much as five dollars in social and economic value is created, according to new research completed by Constellation Consulting Group.

The Social Return on Investment (SROI) in Supportive Housing study demonstrates the positive impact of supportive housing in communities. SROI provides a framework for measuring and financially valuing social and economic outcomes and provides a method for telling the story of change and social value created by investment.

“We know that supportive housing is a proven way to help people stabilize their housing and avoid homelessness,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This research is further evidence of the social and economic benefits of providing supportive housing in our communities.”

Ten case studies were completed in Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Nanaimo, and Surrey. All studies demonstrated significant value creation for supportive housing residents, local communities, and governments.

Five of the case studies looked at dedicated-site supportive housing while the other five examined scattered-site supportive housing. Findings include:

  • Overall, the SROI case study analysis suggests that for every dollar invested in dedicated-site supportive housing, approximately four to five dollars in social and economic value is created.
  • Overall, the SROI case study analysis suggests that for every dollar invested in scattered-site supportive housing, approximately three to five dollars in social and economic value is created.

“This is the first time we have had the opportunity to get real data on our work in this area,” said Mike Gawliuk, Director of Service Deliver and Program Innovation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna & District Branch. “The outcomes of the SROI study not only reinforce our work, but we are now able to show the real economic and social value of the scattered-site housing model. We will be able to use this information in a number of ways, including demonstrating how this supportive housing model benefits the local community.”

The studies took a conservative approach in determining the value created. The actual value created by the programs is likely higher than the research findings.

The studies can be viewed here: https://www.bchousing.org/research-centre/library/tools-developing-social-housing 

Background:

Dedicated-site supportive housing:

  • Dedicated-site supportive housing: where a building exclusively offers supportive housing units, with supports directly available on-site as well as through outreach workers and connections to off-site services.
  • The following case studies are dedicated-site supportive housing programs that receive operational investment from BC Housing. They were chosen to illustrate a range of dedicated-site supportive housing options available across the province:
    • Budzey Building (147 units, Vancouver, RainCity Housing)
    • Cardington Apartments (30 units, Kelowna, John Howard Society)
    • Kettle on Burrard (140 units, Vancouver, Kettle Friendship Society)
    • Queens Manor (36 units, Victoria, Victoria Cool Aid Society)
    • Wesley Street (36 units, Nanaimo, CMHA Mid Island Branch)

Scattered-site supportive Housing:

  • Scattered-site supportive housing: where residents are supported in securing market rentals scattered throughout the community (usually with a rent supplement) and supports are provided by an outreach worker to residents where they live or through supported connections to other services.
  • The following case studies are scattered-site supportive housing receiving Homeless Outreach Program and/or Homeless Prevention Program investment from BC Housing. They were chosen to represent a range of scattered-site supportive housing options available across the province:
    • CMHA Kelowna (54 residents supported in 1 year, Kelowna)
    • CMHA Mid-Island (30 residents supported in 1 year, Nanaimo)
    • Lookout Housing & Health Society (75 residents supported in 1 year, Surrey)
    • MPA Society (160 residents supported in 1 year, Vancouver)
    • Pacifica Housing (286 residents supported in 1 year, Victoria)

Contact:

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917