Table of Contents
International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 245024, 9 pages
Research Article

Developing an Estimate of Supported Housing Needs for Persons with Serious Mental Illnesses

1University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
2Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, Canada A1C 5S7

Received 26 July 2013; Revised 13 March 2014; Accepted 20 March 2014; Published 27 April 2014

Academic Editor: Alberto Davila

Copyright © 2014 Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A rich body of literature attests to the importance of affordable accommodation and support services necessary, appropriate, and acceptable to persons disabled by a mental illness. However, there is a little which provides a means for housing and service planners to determine the gap between available supportive housing and need. Such understandings are needed to prepare strategies and develop the resources needed to accommodate persons with a disabling mental illness in the community. While housing studies that examine shelter needs of the homeless acknowledge that a sizable proportion has a disabling mental illness, these numbers underestimate need in the cohort that experiences disabling mental illnesses. This underestimate exists because many of those who are disabled by mental illness and in need of supportive housing are among the hidden homeless: doubled-up, couch-surfing, and temporarily sheltered by friends and family. Thus, little is known about the size of this cohort or their supportive shelter needs. The present analysis examines two approaches and offers one methodology as most feasible and parsimonious which can approximate housing need and may be extrapolated to other urban locations.