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Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
January 30-21, 2018, Washington, DC

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October 26, 2017 Washington, DC

Housing, Health, and Homelessness: Evaluating the Evidence 

HHH small

  Project Information  

Project Scope
Meetings and Events
Committee Membership

Project Scope

A committee, under the auspices of the Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) Program and the Board on Population and Public Health Practice, will evaluate interventions and policy options for addressing urban homelessness, particularly permanent supportive housing programs.[1] Specifically, the study will address the fundamental question, to what extent have permanent supportive housing programs improved health outcomes and affected health care costs in people experiencing homelessness? To address this question, the committee will take into consideration any variation in outcomes for different subsets of homeless populations, including people experiencing chronic homelessness and people identified as high-utilizers of health care services, as well as the variation in outcomes related to different housing configurations and approaches to services delivery and financing associated with permanent supportive housing.

The committee will focus on the following questions:

  • What is the evidence that permanent supportive housing improves health-related utilization and outcomes in homeless persons with serious, chronic or disabling conditions (e.g., substance use disorders, serious mental illness, physical disabilities, diabetes, etc.)? How cost effective is permanent supportive housing for addressing homelessness and health outcomes compared with usual care and alternative interventions? 
  • What are individual and other characteristics that may be associated with the health related outcomes and costs of permanent supportive housing (e.g., age, health conditions, other demographics)?
  • What characteristics of permanent supportive housing programs, if any, result in improved health outcomes and evidence of cost effectiveness? 
  • How generalizable are the findings from studies evaluating outcomes associated with the use of permanent supportive housing in the chronically homeless to other homeless populations (families with children, disabled persons, etc.)?
  • Are the outcomes associated with the use of permanent supportive housing translatable to other populations or systems (e.g., what are common characteristics that might translate to an institutionalized population)? 
  • What are the key policy barriers and research gaps associated with developing programs to address the housing and health needs of homeless populations?

The committee will produce a consensus report with findings and recommendations. 

[1] Permanent supportive housing is defined as decent, safe, and affordable community-based housing that provides residents the rights of tenancy under state and local landlord-tenant laws.

Public input: The committee welcomes written input from the public to enhance its ability to address the questions outlined above. Such input may include but is not limited to publications or analyses that address aspects of housing, health, or homelessness and the relationships among them.  Submissions will become part of the public access file for this project and may be made available to the public upon request to the National Academies’ Public Access Records Office. In addition, we anticipate that some portions of committee meetings will be open to the public, and we welcome interested parties to attend.


Meetings & Events

Meeting 1: Housing, Health, and Homelessness: Evaluating the Evidence
October 4-5, 2016
National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Ave NW Washington, DC

Meeting 2: Housing, Health, and Homelessness: Evaluating the Evidence
October 27, 2016
Hyatt Place Hyatt House Denver Downtown
440 14th Street Denver, CO 80202

October 28, 2016
San Jose Marriott
301 S Market Street San Jose, CA 95113

Meeting 3: Housing, Health, and Homelessness: Evaluating the Evidence
December 15-16, 2016
Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
100 Academy Dr. Irvine, CA

Meeting 4: Housing, Health, and Homelessness: Evaluating the Evidence
January 26-27, 2017
Keck Center
500 5th Street NW Washington, DC 20001



Committee Members

  • Kenneth Kizer (NAM)  (Chair) 
    University of California, Davis Health System
  • James O'Connell
    Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
  • Stephen Hwang 
    St. Michael's Hospital
  • Suzenne Wenzel
    University of Southern California
  • Marybeth Shinn
    Vanderbilt University
  • Seiji Hayashi
    Unity Health Care, Inc.
  • Mitchell Katz (NAM)
    Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Ping Wang
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • Barbara Samuels 
    American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
  • Barbara Brush
    University of Michigan
  • Muhasin Mujahid
    University of California, Berkeley
Biographies of committee members are provided on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's Current Projects System site.

Study Director

  • Karen Anderson
    Senior Program Officer, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice


The project is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, California Health Care Foundation, Melville Charitable Trust, Kresge Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and Elsevier.