Affordable Housing, Opportunity Neighborhoods, and Behavioral Health June 20, 2013 National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership Eleanor Tutteleanor@rhcda.com
Behavioral Health Network • Collaboration between: • Providers • Advocacy Organizations • Government Leaders • Community Members • Seven counties • Four Continuum of Care regions
Regional Housing Collaborative Plan GOAL: Persons with behavioral health needs will be able to afford housing of their choice in their community and will have fair and equitable access to the resources available for the larger low-income population.
Two Key Questions • How much affordable housing do we need for persons with behavioral health needs? • Where should it be located within the region?
How much affordable housing do we need? • Difficult to separate the needs of behavioral health clients from other low income households • Both groups compete for limited resources Total affordable rental housing need Total Behavioral Health need Behavioral Health Homeless
Homeless Behavioral Health Need • Corporation for Supportive Housing conducted analysis City of St. Louis • 782 PSH units needed for homeless or at-risk persons with serious mental illness • Working to identify whether data is available that would allow for approximation of CSH methodology in remaining six counties
Where should housing be located? • Where do voucher holders currently live? • Are there neighborhoods that appear to meet the stated needs of voucher holders that do not have voucher holders living there? • What barriers might be preventing voucher holders from moving to those neighborhoods?
Existing Voucher Programs • Supported Community Living Program (SCLP) • Shelter Plus Care (S+CARE) • HUD Housing Choice Vouchers • Persons with behavioral health needs are a subset of voucher holders with disabilities
Data-Informed Discussions “These counties may have shorter waiting lists for vouchers than neighboring St. Charles County.” “I know a landlord here who is willing to work with my clients. I refer people here often.” “This area doesn’t have much rental housing at all.” “As a voucher holder, I tried to find a home here, but couldn’t.”
Focus Groups: Housing Satisfaction • Mentioned by 4 of 4 Groups • Affordability • Independence • Access to transportation • Mentioned by 3 of 4 groups • Employment opportunities • Access to housing resource information Elements of Opportunity Neighborhoods
Opportunity: Transportation Access • 83% of existing SCLP and S+CARE voucher holders live within a 5 minute walk of public transportation (bus or light rail) • 79% of all voucher holders live in Census Tracts served by public transportation
Opportunity: Employment Access • 55% of all voucher holders live in “job rich areas” – Census Tracts with a higher than median concentration of jobs • However, many job-rich areas lack a significant number of voucher holders
Opportunity: Employment Access Job Concentration Voucher Concentration
Caveats/Limitations • Current location of voucher holders is a single year snapshot (2009) • Focus groups interviewed a small subset of total persons with behavioral health need • We did not try to fully define “opportunity neighborhood,” but looked at two elements emphasized by the focus groups
Caveats/Limitations • Strategies could include ensuring housing is available in opportunity neighborhoods and/or encouraging transit and job growth in areas where housing is already available. • Maps were produced to spark discussion and are not final recommendations; RHCDA is one voice in an ongoing, cross-sector planning effort