Masters Thesis

A market study and financial feasibility analysis of permanent supportive housing for mentally ill homeless individuals residing in Humboldt County, California

This project focuses on an affordable housing model aimed at ending the homelessness of individuals who experience mental illness in rural Humboldt County, California. Although a range of human services and temporary housing programs are available, the lack of permanent supportive housing is identified as an unmet need of the homeless population (Redwood Community Action Agency [RCAA], 2004; Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition [HHHC], 2004). The purpose of this project is to conduct a market study and financial feasibility analysis on developing permanent supportive housing in Humboldt County. The project was conducted as part of an internship with Humboldt Bay Housing Development Corporation, a nonprofit housing development organization operating locally. Two underlying questions are addressed by the project. (1) Does the demand for supportive housing outweigh the supply of existing programs aimed at supporting mentally ill homeless individuals in creating and maintaining a stable home in Humboldt County? (2) Is it likely that existing funding sources can be secured to cover the costs associated with the development and ongoing operation of supportive housing in Humboldt County? The results of the market study and financial feasibility analysis were compiled into a technical report for the nonprofit organization. The following account of the project includes a theoretical framework and an overview of the methods and results. A discussion of the project results follows.