Housing Needs in the Calgary Region for Persons with Severe And Persistent Mental Illness

This report provides an estimate of the number of housing units needed in the city of Calgary for persons disabled by mental illness. It is based on several well established principles: • Some, but not all, persons with a serious mental illness require housing supports • Housing supports consist of financial assistance to pay for housing and utilities, as well as instrumental assistance with activities of daily living • Many persons with a serious mental illness can live independently in the community if housing supports are provided • Some persons are severely disabled by their illness and require a higher level of intensity in housing services. These persons are identified as requiring tertiary care. • Some persons with modest disability caused by mental illness have co-occuring physical disabilities that necessitate a high level of housing support. Housing needs in this report are based on the established prevalence of schizophrenia and well documented proportions of the various diagnoses presented by people living in existing housing programs. Both the rate per 100,000 and the current actual need are based on a population of 1,000,000, of whom 875,000 (estimated) are adults between the ages of 18 and 65. Rate estimations will permit calculations of future needs as the city grows in size. Rates can also be used by smaller communities to estimate their needs. This report used several different sources of data to calculate housing need. All estimates fell within 5% of the average need calculated for Calgary. Most of these needs are for independent supportive housing. A small number (1198) are for tertiary care housing The recommendation of the current need for 11, 674 housing units, of which 10,071 are unmet needs, represents an accurate estimate of current need.

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