A report out today says that the public cost for people in supportive or other housing is about half the public cost for similar people who are homeless. The study is by the Economic Roundtable and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the group that released numbers a few weeks ago saying homelessness in the county has dropped by 38% since 2007, so grain of salt. They report that in the case of supportive housing, "When taking into consideration the average monthly rent subsidy for supportive housing and the capital costs for developing housing units, the average monthly savings to the public is $1,190 per individual."
A similar study out last month came up with similar results, but had a sample size of four (It looked at permanent housing and put taxpayer savings at $20,000 per year per person). This study involved 10,193 people in LA County--9,186 who were homeless and receiving General Relief public assistance, and 1,007 who went into supportive housing. Costs were much higher among the older and disabled--public cost was 79% lower for disabled people in supportive housing--and conversely most of the savings found came from reduced health care costs. The report recommends LA create more public housing "through new construction, master leases, and scattered site rentals." The full report is at LAHSA's website. [Pictured: Michael Maltzan's Carver Apartments.]
· Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority [Official Site]
· Study: Housing Homeless Saves Taxpayers Money [Curbed LA]