Permanent Supportive Housing


  • Provides affordable housing and supportive services for people with disabilities to obtain and maintain their housing
  • A referral submitted by a Department of Human Services Case Manager is required
  • Participants pay no more than 30% of their income towards rent and the lease is in their own name
  • Priority is given to applicants with critical housing needs and who need housing support services
  • Case Managers provide support to individual to ensure successful community living
  • Apartments are located throughout Arlington County


  • Arlington resident with a disability
  • Applicant must have a Department of Human Services or contracted Case Manager/Single Accountable Individual (SAI), and a treatment or service plan that addresses the applicants ability to adhere to a lease
  • Individuals with a history of serious sexual offenses or arson are not eligible
  • Individuals engaged in or convicted of violent criminal activity within the past three years are reviewed on a case by case basis

What is Permanent Supportive Housing?

Permanent supportive housing is a successful, cost-effective combination of affordable housing with services that helps people live more stable, productive lives.

  • Permanent supportive housing works well for people who face the most complex challenges — individuals and families who are not only homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, but who also have very low incomes and serious, persistent issues that may include substance use, mental illness or other disabilities, and HIV/AIDS.

Housing First

Arlington’s permanent supportive housing programs emphasize a Housing First approach. Housing First is a practical and cost effective solution that emphasizes placing individuals in apartments as rapidly as possible. Housing First is being implemented in communities across the country with great success including Denver, New York City, and D.C.

Countless studies have now shown that we must offer housing first, not last, if we want to help people out of homelessness. This bipartisan, evidence-based approach became federal policy under President George W. Bush and has been expanded under the Obama Administration.

Housing first is a simple, highly effective approach to ending chronic homelessness that emphasizes providing homeless people with permanent housing right away and then offering other services as needed. In contrast to less effective, more traditional models, Housing First does not force homeless people to complete or comply with treatment, mental health care, employment training or other services in order to access and maintain permanent housing. Instead, it rests on the evidence-based view that stable housing puts people in a better position to benefit voluntarily from these services over time.

Housing First approaches can ensure that roughly 85 percent of homeless individuals remain stably housed, even among individuals and families dealing with severe substance abuse and mental health conditions. The bottom line is that it is just too difficult to battle addiction, take care of serious physical and mental health conditions or find steady employment while simultaneously battling homelessness. Housing-based approaches have proven much more successful in helping people address these secondary issues.

Studies also show that Housing First approaches involving permanent supportive housing tend to be much cheaper for taxpayers than allowing people to remain homeless since homeless individuals with the highest needs often use expensive, publicly funded services like emergency rooms, shelters and jails.

This approach has a documented track record of ending people’s homelessness while often encouraging them to make their own choices to get healthy, quit drugs and alcohol and find employment when possible.