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Permanent Supportive Housing

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is long-term, community-based housing, which includes supportive services for homeless people with disabilities. This type of supportive housing is meant to enable the special needs population to live as independently as possible in a permanent setting. The supportive services may be provided by the organization managing the housing or coordinated with other public or private service agencies.

PSH opportunities provide access both to affordable housing and to a flexible and comprehensive array of supportive services designed to help tenants achieve and sustain housing stability and move toward recovery. Housing is covered by Ohio tenant landlord law.

PSH is an evidence-based practice for people with mental illnesses and is typically defined by the following features:

  • Tenant households execute lease (or sub-lease) agreements with the same rights and responsibilities as other households renting housing in the community;
  • Supportive services are readily available to tenants, may be on- or off-site, and are designed to promote housing stability, including access to crisis services 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  • Supportive services are flexible and individualized and adjusted to meet the tenants’ evolving needs and preferences;
  • On-going participation in supportive services is not required for tenants to retain their housing; and
  • Access to the housing opportunity and the services is not time-limited.

For additional OhioMHAS Housing Settings definitions, refer to the 2018 Housing Categories and Definitions document.

Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program

Ohio 811 Project Rental Assistance Program


The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is collaborating with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) to implement the Ohio 811 Project Rental Assistance Program (811 PRA) designed to serve approximately 485 households throughout the state. 

The purpose of this program is to allow households composed of one or more persons with a disability, who are at least 18 but less than 62 years of age and extremely low-income, to live as independently as possible by subsidizing rental housing opportunities in integrated settings. All individuals will be Medicaid-eligible and therefore eligible for services. 

OhioMHAS Target Population:

Individuals with a serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) who are determined disabled, candidates for independent community living, and connected to a community behavioral health center.

Referral Process:

An individual's access to the 811 PRA will be coordinated by those staff charged with housing referrals for each respective ADAMH board throughout the state. Boards should designate board staff who assist with housing or staff from their provider agencies to act as 811 Referral Agents, who will then be offered training regarding the program requirements as well as the referral process. Referral Agents will be trained to use the online pre-screening, assessment, intake and referral platform known as SocialServe. Information about upcoming Referral Agent training dates is posted on the OhioMHAS website and distributed via the OhioMHAS board and general listserv.

Post-training, Referral Agents will use SocialServe to assess and refer eligible individuals to the 811 PRA. When an apartment becomes available that matches the individual's need as expressed in their online application, the OHFA Waitlist Manager will refer the individual to the apartment complex to fill out a property-level application. If an apartment is unavailable at the time the online application is completed, the individual will be placed on the 811 PRA waitlist until an apartment is available.

Additional Information:


  • OhioMHAS has financing available for the development of housing, program and consumer-operated services projects in the community including Permanent Supportive Housing. Inquiries should be directed to the Bureau of Capital Planning and your local ADAMH Board.
  • The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has financing, most through their Housing Development Assistance programs, which can assist with the cost of developing and preserving affordable housing.
  • Through its Affordable Housing Program (AHP), the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati awards grant funds and provides low interest loans to create affordable housing opportunities.
  • Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing works with private and public developers to create affordable housing opportunities and has a Training Academy for their partners and property managers.
  • Trainings are available through OhioMHAS to learn more about these funding opportunities. Check the OhioMHAS Training/Learning site or CSH site for additional information.

Evidence-based Practices in Housing

OhioMHAS Housing supports a variety of evidence-based practices to support persons in recovery and their success in housing of their choice. Below are just a few examples of those practices.

Housing First: Provides immediate access to permanent supportive housing to individuals who are homeless and who have mental health and/or substance use disorders. There are 5 principles to this model: 1) Housing- immediate access to housing with no readiness conditions; 2) Choice- consumer choice and self-determination; 3) Recover- recovery orientation; 4) Support- individualized and person-driven supports; 5) Community- social and community integration.

Harm Reduction: Harm reduction is an approach for substance use treatment that involves a set of practical techniques that are openly negotiated with clients around what is most likely to be achieved. The focus is on reducing the negative consequences and risky behaviors of substance use; it neither condones nor condemns any behavior. By incorporating strategies on a continuum from safer drug use, to managed substance use, up to abstinence, harm reduction practice helps clients affect positive changes in their lives.

Trauma-Informed Care: Trauma-informed care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma Informed Care also emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.