We are committed to housing because of its significant positive impact for both individuals and families as well as on the broader communities in which they live. Research shows that permanent supportive housing leads to significant reductions in the utilization and costs of public services such as emergency shelter, hospital emergency room and inpatient care, sobering centers, and jails. A study released in 2014 showed that tenants of a facility similar to New Clay saved $1.8 million in health care costs and spent 84% fewer days in jail, with a 78% drop in arrests. Once in permanent housing, crimes related to homelessness such as trespassing, loitering, public urination, begging, and public consumption of alcohol decline significantly. Another 2014 study in Florida illustrated that the cost of permanent supportive housing was one third of the cost of leaving individuals on the street. Through these numbers, it is clear that supporting permanent supportive housing makes financial sense for Richmond.
Homeward is grateful for Richmond City Council recognizing our community-wide work housing homeless veterans. Of the 139 homeless veterans housed, 44 were housed through supportive housing units like New Clay. To continue this important work we need to increase the availability of permanent supportive housing. We understand that there is a concern about property values surrounding New Clay and fears for what an expansion could mean to the Carver neighborhood. Studies have shown that a mitigating factor in property values surrounding supportive housing developments is building maintenance. Through a $12 million renovation and expansion investment, Virginia Supportive Housing would be adding significant value to the Carver community. Furthermore, the Furman Center in New York City evaluated the values of properties within 500 feet and 1,000 feet of supportive housing units. They found that after supportive housing opens, there was a statistically significant rise in the value of properties located within 500 feet, and that while values for properties between 500 and 1,000 feet away decline initially, prices showed a steady relative gain in the years following building completion.
Through acceptance into the national Zero: 2016 campaign to end veteran and chronic homelessness by the end of 2015 and 2016, respectively, Greater Richmond homeless services providers demonstrate a serious commitment to elevating Richmond through housing. Our nation’s most vulnerable veterans and chronically homeless individuals have had tremendous success remaining stably housed through supportive housing programs. We have seen success ending homelessness across the country in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and New Orleans. With the addition of needed supportive housing units at New Clay, Richmond can move closer to becoming a model community for ending homelessness.
Director of Development & Communications, Homeward
 “Opening Doors: Homelessness Among Veterans” http://usich.gov/usich_resources/fact_sheets/opening_doors_homelessness_among_veterans/
 “Moore Place Permanent Supportive Housing Evaluation Study “ http://shnny.org/images/uploads/Charlotte-Moore-Place-Study.pdf
 Shinn, G. (2014). The Cost of Long-Term Homelessness in Central Florida. Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.
 “The Impacts of Supportive Housing on Neighborhoods and Neighbors” http://www.huduser.org/Publications/pdf/support_1.pdf
 “The Impact of Supportive Housing on Surrounding Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City” http://furmancenter.org/files/FurmanCenterPolicyBriefonSupportiveHousing_LowRes.pdf