Five-year Study Re-affirms that Housing Stabilizes People


A five-year study involving 497 homeless people with mental health or addictions problems in Vancouver found that, when provided free apartments, most people “stabilized their lives and coexisted peacefully with their neighbours,” according to the Vancouver Sun. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has been leading the “Housing First” randomized control trials in five cities, and issued its report on Vancouver this week. Additionally, for every $10 invested in providing housing, the study found an average savings of $8.55 in avoided use of social services. “For the difference of $1.45, the participant went from living a chaotic life on the street, to living inside and starting to address challenges such as mental illness, addictions, terrible health, poverty and poor quality of life,” reports the Vancouver Sun.

Simon Fraser University Health Sciences lead investigator Julian Somers told the Vancouver Sun that he believes those financial numbers would have been even more robust if people on the street had been able to access all of the services that they needed, like the housed people more readily could. Somers noted that being able to choose from ordinary apartments located around the city was “a hugely powerful part” of the participants’ transformation. “Regardless of the state of your mental health or your economics, within reason being able to exercise choice is pretty important to thrive in life.”

Participants with mental illness, addictions thrive after being given apartments: five-year national study (Vancouver Sun, June 27, 2014)

Vancouver Final Report: At Home/Chez Soi project (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2014)


  1. This is relevant and I like it,

    In fact, tiny house villages are even being tested as solutions to homelessness. Within the tiny house movement, there’s a contingent who are taking the simplicity, sustainability and freedom of tiny houses to the next level by building their tiny homes off the power grid.”

    Their are so many people that just cant do the pay rent or mortgage slavery , some people call that “mental illness” I disagree. The word disability is better but just a way of saying some people have better skills than others at some defined things.

    The tiny house and off grid movement seems to be at odds with the way the social engineers of the world want us to live. It’s like they don’t want people off the grid free of slavery, Cape Coral Fl kicked out of her PAID-FOR house because she has been living off the grid! In Canada, Off Grid Cabins Ordered Destroyed

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  2. Uploaded on Aug 22, 2010

    “In a town where the median home price is over half a million dollars, Jenine Alexander decided to build her own. Using resources like the tiny house blogs and the 1950 bestselling DIY book “Your Dream Home: How to Build It for Less Than $3,500″ (a gift from a friend), Jenine spent less than $3,500 on her home. In fact, she used nearly only materials recovered from the dump or found on craigslist and the only things she paid for were a used trailer and fasteners (nails, screws, hinges, etc).
    She built it on wheels not just to get around minimum size standards, but mostly because she couldn’t afford land in her hometown of Healdsburg, California.”

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