Study Reveals It Costs Less to Give the Homeless Housing Than to Leave Them on the Street
“According to the UNCC study, housing these people led to dramatic cost savings that more than paid for the cost of putting them in decent housing, including $1.8 million in health care savings from 447 fewer ER visits (78% reduction) and 372 fewer hospital days (79% reduction). Tenants also spent 84 fewer days in jail, with a 72% drop in arrests.
What’s more, Moore Place is enabling the formerly homeless to find their own sources of income. Without housing, just 50% were able to generate any income. One year after move-in, they’re up to 82%. And after an average length of 7 years of homelessness, 94% of the original tenants retained their housing after 18 months, with a 99% rent collection rate.”
The cost of NOT housing homeless people is exorbitant — a stunning $39,458 in combined medical, judicial and other costs. This pilot program (rent for housing at Moore Place) is paid for 30% by tenant benefits (welfare, etc) and an additional $14k per person per year (comes from federal funding and donations). We are looking at more than $25k cheaper to house a homeless person per year than to leave them on the streets.
Moral legitimacy of this aside, economics supports providing more transitional/homeless housing.