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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

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SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

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People with mental illnesses may face multiple problems when looking for decent, affordable housing. The majority of people with serious and persistent mental illnesses live below the poverty line and the cost of decent housing may be more than they can afford. Also, these people may need a diverse array of supports to live successfully in the community, and such supports may not be available.

NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome sometimes creates obstacles around the placement of supported housing for people with serious mental illnesses. Neighbors protest this housing, fearing their property value will decrease or that their children's safety will be compromised if people with psychiatric disabilities move into their neighborhood. These negative actions and preconceptions often prevent people who have mental illnesses from reintegrating into society.

The absence of sufficient housing for people with mental illnesses can result in homelessness. Some estimates indicate that 40 percent of the nation's homeless population consists of single adults with severe mental illnesses.1

As you can see, housing for people with mental illness is important for individuals and communities.

Information on this topic can be found in the materials in this section. Specific materials will help communities receive accurate information about people with mental illnesses to correct misperceptions and stereotypes and develop successful anti-stigma programs to promote acceptance of supported housing programs. These materials also will help landlords in their efforts to meet with legal mandates and help people who have mental illnesses know their rights related to housing.

11999 Housing and Urban Development Report

This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.