Housing accommodation preferences of people with psychiatric disabilities

Cathy Owen*, Valerie Rutherford, Michael Jones, Christine Wright, Christopher Tennant, Andrew Smallman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The study sought to identify the types of housing preferred by people with psychiatric disabilities seeking accommodations through a community mental health service in Sydney, Australia. Methods: Housing options available in the mental health service's catchment area were identified, and the extent of demands on residents' behavior that was associated with each option was assessed using an established measure. Clients examined descriptions of each housing option and rank-ordered the options based on their preferences. Clients' current levels of functioning and symptoms were also assessed. Results: Clients most preferred environments that ensured living alone in settings of low behavioral demand. Living in one's own home was the most preferred option, followed by living in government-subsidized housing. For-profit boarding houses were preferred over psychiatric group homes, and homelessness, long-term hospitalization, and crisis accommodations were least preferred. Shelter, privacy, food, and safety were highly valued housing attributes. Demographic characteristics, level of functioning, and severity of psychiatric symptoms did not predict accommodation preferences. Conclusion: Consumers' resistance to psychiatric group housing with high levels of behavioral demand is unrelated to consumer characteristics and should be considered in planning suitable accommodations for persons with psychiatric disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-632
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume47
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes

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