National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI's Position on Housing

(summarized from the NAMI Public Policy Platform)

Living in the community

NAMI supports increasing access to permanent housing and appropriate supports and services that allow persons with serious mental illnesses (or brain disorders) to live in the community. These permanent housing resources include HUD programs such as Section 811 and Shelter Plus Care, as well as tenant-based rental assistance linked to the emerging "elderly only" housing designation crisis. NAMI believes that the widely recognized failure of "deinstitutionalization" in recent decades is due in large part to the failure of states and communities to invest in housing and supports for people with severe mental illnesses.

Links to supports and services

NAMI supports efforts to link supports and services to housing specifically for adults with severe and disabling brain disorders. Where linked to housing, such services should be flexible and based on an individualized plan with meaningful consumer and family input. This housing approach also reduces isolation experienced by many adults with severe and disabling brain disorders.

NAMI opposes efforts to weaken protections under the Fair Housing Act for people with severe mental illnesses in group homes and community residences. These proposals to weaken the Fair Housing Act would significantly scale back provisions in the law that bar discriminatory zoning and land-use policies intended to exclude group homes from residential communities. These are policies typically implemented in response to Not in My Backyard (NIMBY), or community opposition to group homes.

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