Housing for People with Serious Mental Illness

  • Josh Leopold


This chapter summarizes the state of knowledge on the housing arrangements of people with serious mental illness (SMI) in the United States. Americans with serious mental illness have the legal right to live in as integrated housing as feasible and we estimate that more than 90% of people with SMI live in the community and not in institutions or specialized programs. However, the lack of affordable housing, discrimination in the rental market, difficulties accessing community-based health services, and insufficient benefits still contribute to people with serious mental illness being at greater risk for homelessness, inadequate or unaffordable housing, or incarceration. This chapter describes what we know about the housing situations of people with SMI, the challenges they face in the rental housing market, and the effectiveness of different program models for providing housing and services. The chapter concludes with a discussion of emerging topics for research and policy on housing for people with SMI.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josh Leopold
    • 1
  1. 1.Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy CenterThe Urban InstituteWashington, DCUSA

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