Impact of a New York City Supportive Housing Program on Housing Stability and Preventable Health Care among Homeless Families



To assess the impact of a New York City supportive housing program on housing stability and preventable emergency department (ED) visits/hospitalizations among heads of homeless families with mental and physical health conditions or substance use disorders.

Data Sources

Multiple administrative data from New York City and New York State for 966 heads of families eligible for the program during 2007–12.

Study Design

We captured housing events and health care service utilization during 2 years prior to the first program eligibility date (baseline) and 2 years postbaseline. We performed sequence analysis to measure housing stability and compared housing stability and preventable ED visits and hospitalizations between program participants (treatment group) and eligible applicants not placed in the program (comparison group) via marginal structural modeling.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

We matched electronically collected data.

Principal Findings

Eighty‐seven percent of supportive housing tenants experienced housing stability in 2 years postbaseline. Compared with unstably housed heads of families in the comparison group, those in the treatment group were 0.60 times as likely to make preventable ED visits postbaseline (95% CI = 0.38, 0.96).


Supportive housing placement was associated with improved housing stability and reduced preventable health care visits among homeless families.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Health Services Research