The extent to which non-conditional housing programs improve housing and well-being outcomes: a systematic review

Renee O’Donnell, Kostas Hatzikiriakidis, Melissa Savaglio, Dave Vicary, Jennifer Fleming, Helen Skouteris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: To reduce rates of homelessness, recent efforts have been directed toward developing non-conditional supported housing programs that prioritize the delivery of housing support and individual services, without tenancy conditions (i.e. maintaining sobriety and adhering to mental health treatment). As promising as these programs are, findings generally show that while housing stability is improved, other individual outcomes remain largely unchanged. No review to date has synthesized the collective evidence base of non-conditional housing programs, rather the focus has been on specific programs of delivery (e.g. Housing First) or on specific population groups (e.g. those with mental illness). The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the extent to which non-conditional housing interventions improve housing and well-being outcomes for all persons. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic search of the literature was conducted for randomized controlled studies that evaluated the effectiveness of a non-conditional housing intervention in improving housing and health outcomes among any participant group. Findings: A total of 31 studies were included in this review. Non-conditional supported housing programs were found to be most effective in improving housing stability as compared to health and well-being outcomes. Policymakers should consider this when developing non-conditional supported housing programs and ensure that housing and other health-related outcomes are also mutually supported. Originality/value: This is the first review, to the authors’ knowledge, to synthesize the collective impact of all non-conditional supported housing programs. The current findings may inform the (re)design and implementation of supported housing models to prioritize the health and well-being of residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-60
Number of pages15
JournalHousing, Care and Support
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Health and social care
  • Homelessness
  • Housing
  • Non-conditional housing
  • Systematic review
  • Well-being

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