Study weighs Maine homeless housing costs

Posted Nov. 01, 2009, at 10:27 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A new study says it’s cheaper for taxpayers if government provides supportive housing for disabled, homeless people than it is to do nothing.

The Maine State Housing Authority study says urban homeless people with disabilities who find supportive housing have a 46 percent reduction in health care costs and a 50 percent reduction in social service costs. There are also significant reductions in costs for emergency room visits and jail.

In rural settings, the study finds a 37 percent reduction in social service costs, a 54 percent reduction in mental health costs and big reductions in costs for incarceration.

A copy of the study is available at ermSupportive.pdf