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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Location, Location: Neighborhood Characteristics of Community-Based Housing for Persons with Severe Mental Illness

Allison Zippay, PhD, Social Work, Rutgers University, 536 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08903, 732-932-3453, zippay@rci.rutgers.edu

This study examined the socio-economic characteristics of the neighborhoods of community-based housing for persons with severe mental illness for a random sample of 164 recently sited residences in seven states. Block level census data were examined for each of the sites and compared to municipal and state averages. The mental health administrators who were responsible for locating and managing each of those sites were interviewed regarding their rationale for choosing that location. All of the residences sampled had on-site supervision and three or more residents (including shared apartments and group homes. There has long been a concern that a high proportion of community-based residences for persons with severe mental illness have been located in low-income neighborhoods with various indices of disadvantage. It has been charged that such practices segregate rather than integrate, and negate the intended healthful effects of community-based housing including promotion of social inclusion. However, there exists no comprehensive national or state data base that lists or describes the locations of community-based residences. Some studies from the 1970s and 1980s confirmed that housing was clustered in certain urban low-income neighborhoods, but we have little documentation of more recent siting patterns. This study found a range of neighborhood demographics among the residences sampled, from poor to upper income. The primary rationales for site location among those interviewed was affordability and access for residents to a variety of community resources via walking or public transportation.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Housing, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Community and Social Justice

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA