The Effects of Independent Living on Persons with Chronic Mental Illness: An Assessment of the Section 8 Certificate Program

The feasibility of the Section 8 certificate program for individuals with chronic mental illness (CMI) and the outcomes associated with independent housing are examined. The analysis is based on data from a longitudinal survey of Section 8 certificate users in Baltimore and Hamilton County (Cincinnati) and on information from Section 8 application forms in each site. A pre-post research design was used to examine changes in hospitalization, residential stability, and mental health service outcomes. Four key dimensions of the CMI certificate program are examined: affordability, housing conditions, neighborhood conditions, and service gaps. Results suggest that the certificate program has a positive effect on independent living, that certificate use is associated with positive mental health outcomes, and that there is no evidence of “creaming” among program applicants.

Author(s): Sandra J. Newman; James D. Reschovsky; Keith Kaneda; Anne M. Hendrick

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Volume 72, Issue 1 (pages 171–198)
Published in 1994