Project Title

Measuring Supportive Housing Outcomes Evaluation

Research Solutions
  • Program Effectiveness  
  • Document/Literature Reviews
  • Case Study Interviews

The Research Question

Supportive housing provides an opportunity for people to live as independently as possible and be included in the province's economic and social life. A province-wide evaluation was needed to examine the impacts of provincially-funded supportive housing and homeless rent supplement programs on the quality of life, financial, housing, health, and justice outcomes for at-risk tenants and homeless prevention program recipients.

Malatest Solution

We evaluated the effectiveness of four supportive housing and rent supplement programs for individuals in BC by measuring the outcomes of tenants residing in supportive housing compared to a control group. The social return on investment (SROI) of the program was also assessed using administrative data from numerous provincial departments/agencies. We were responsible for designing and implementing this evaluation, which considered multiple aspects of supportive housing initiatives in the province. Through surveys, interviews, and reviews of administrative data from BC Housing and four Government of BC ministries, we examined housing stability, health outcomes, access to appropriate support services, income levels and sources, changes in employment, interactions with the justice system, and costs of housing and other public services.

We completed document and literature reviews, an administrative/financial data review from a cross-section of services from different ministries and areas of government, case studies featuring interviews with clients and their families, interviews with 27 supportive housing staff, a cost and economic impact analysis, and surveys with BC Housing clients and a comparison group. Assessing a spectrum of potential services allowed us to evaluate proactive and reactive strategies for addressing housing issues as well as assess the global impact of supportive housing both financially and socially.

The evaluation demonstrated the impacts of provincially-funded supportive housing and rent supplement programs while also illustrating how to best fine-tune existing policies to ensure that the programs meet clients' needs.


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