Community Economics & Permanent Supportive Housing

What are the economic realities of addressing homelessness through permanent supportive housing?

PSH actually saves the community money, while also providing solutions and effective services for those facing the circumstance of being unhoused.  

  1. PSH at 1811 Eastlake was opened in 2005 and houses 75 formerly homeless residents with chronic alcohol use disorders.  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published research in 2009 that said 1811 Eastlake saved taxpayers $4M+ in the first year of operation. (JAMA research on 1811)
  2. The JAMA also noted that the cost of publicly-funded services (jail, hospital, detox, EMS, etc.) per person per month, prior to housing, was $4,000+ per person.  The monthly cost dropped to less than $1500 per resident after 6 months of housing at 1811 and dropped down to under $1000 after 12 months of housing.  So the cost-burden on publicly-funded services drops dramatically when PSH is implemented.  (JAMA research on 1811)
  3. Hotels are a much more affordable option: “The average cost to build permanent supportive housing is about $350K to $400K per unit or more, depending on where it is being built. In comparison, purchasing hotels during a depressed market is averaging around $270K per unit, a significant savings. Equally important, they are available for occupancy with very little renovation and are already furnished. Once the provider has been chosen and staffing is in place, the hotels can provide housing quickly and efficiently. HTH meets a critical need for this region.” (HTH FAQs)


  • So, to recap, community members are healthier, safer, more stable, and better able to plan for their future when in permanent supportive housing.  They are also far less likely to move from PSH to unstable or unhoused conditions.  And it saves taxpayers money.  

  • Contact Kirkland City Council to remind them of the economic benefits of PSH!
  • Want to review the info from our last PSH post? Find it here.