Affordable Housing Finance recently reported that a study of the residents of permanent supportive housing in Portland, Oregon found health care expenses fell dramatically in the first year after a resident moved into the facility, followed by savings in the second and third years of residency. The Apartments at Bud Clark Commons, a joint venture between Home Forward, Multnomah County, Portland Housing Bureau, and Transition Projects, provides housing and access to services to residents. Prior to moving into Bud Clark Commons, residents were homeless, and many had complex medical issues. Total Medicaid cost reductions exceeded $500,000 in the first year following resident move-in: an average savings of $8,724 annually for Medicaid recipients in the first year of residency.
This study provides support for the assertion that stable, permanent housing produces measurable health care savings for vulnerable populations. The authors of the study suggest there are other, unmeasured sources of savings beyond the Medicaid program, including uncompensated hospital care costs, and savings to the criminal justice system.