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Harnessing data for better policies that protect housing for people with mental health challenges.

Harnessing data for better policies that protect housing for people with mental health challenges

A stable home is central to the American promise of opportunity. The ability to live in a home we can afford, under fair terms, and without the threat of homelessness is vital to every person’s ability to establish roots and feel that they are a valued member of society. For mental health consumers, stable housing is necessary to follow treatment plans, which results in better outcomes and lowers the stigma of mental illness.

Very little research has been done on the effect of housing instability on this population, but at least one study correlates housing instability with increased suicides. When coupled with the disproportionally heavy impact of evictions on women of color, we knew we needed to know more to advocate for policy changes that would work. Two recent foundation grants will support ABLE’s collaboration with the University of Toledo to analyze a large dataset from Toledo’s housing court to identify patterns that will help in the development of policies that reduce evictions.

Grants from the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation and the Lovell Foundation will support data analysis, client representation, and the development of policy solutions addressing the eviction crisis and its effects on people with mental health challenges.

About the author

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.