“Responding to the Need for Affordable Supportive Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness in North/Northwest Suburban Cook County”

FAQ’s about permanent supportive housing

Have standards been set to which facilities for must adhere?

Absolutely. This model, known as “permanent supportive housing” is a respected evidence based practice used across the nation. The housing proposed is not different than any other affordable apartment building that must adhere to strict standards of maintenance, operations and monitoring.

In line with the federal financing sources for  development, the State and private investor firms  both monitor the buildings physical condition as well as the operational conditions for the duration of the project, a minimum of 31 years.

Because facilities are  Medicaid reimbursed organization, the State Bureau of Licensure and Accreditation in collaboration with the State Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Mental Health monitors clinical services provided to the residents of Boeger Place.

Will the facility be regulated by the state with inspections to ensure compliance?

Yes, the following entities will monitor and regulate the development: Illinois Housing Development Authority Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Syndicator of LIHTC’s Cook County Housing Authority State Fire Marshall Bureau of Licensure and Accreditation CARF The State Department of Mental Health also conducts periodic review of the clinical documentation that Thresholds is obligated to provide as services are billed.

All clinical documentation is subject to a qualify review ensuring that the person’s medical needs are being properly met.

Who will decide which persons are to be admitted and what are the criteria for these decisions?

All applicants will submit an application for housing and be placed on tiered waiting lists that meet site specific criteria for preferences of location, income and need for  services. All applications will be reviewed for income and background compliance.

Upon completion of income verification (taxes, paystubs, employment verifications, SSDI, etc.) and criminal background screening (all criminal and felony activity), per HUD guidelines, applicants will be processed by  clinical staff to match individual service needs to project specific service offerings.

 Medicaid managers will work with applicants to determine their individual ability to thrive with a high level of independence and with the level of support that will be offered on site will be recommended for housing. Those applicants will then be invited to attend an orientation session regarding the development and program and then proceed to executing leases with individualized service plan attachments.

Will there be an age limit?

All leaseholders must be over the age of 18. While there is no upper age limit, as residents or applicants age in place, management would most likely recommend an elderly development in lieu of family housing.

What provisions are  made in case a resident has a relapse or an acute episode?

There is always the possibility of an acute phase when anyone is being treated for any chronic condition. This is just as true for heart disease or diabetes as it is for mental illness.

Each person who lives in  supported housing has an individual plan designed to meet their specific needs should acute symptoms begin to appear. With mental illness, it is really quite rare for there to be a sudden onset of symptoms. Symptoms appear gradually, signaling a move from what is the person’s “baseline” to a potentially more acute phase. This shift is usually measured over weeks but can be as short as several days.

Staff are well trained to know and identify what to look for and to take steps early to prevent any true acute phase. More importantly,people  are selected to a great extent on their ability to manage their own illnesses. People will qualify  because they are in recovery, self-aware and generally managing quite well.

 Boeger is not gearing itself for people who need significant interventions but rather to a population of people already living quite independently in the community but struggling mightily with the costs of staying in the communities they love. There are many people living in the Arlington Heights area who are with aging parents afraid of what will happen when the family home is no longer a viable sanctuary. Indeed, Thresholds has already talked with a number of such families and has worked with one young lady who indeed lost her home in the Village because the modest level of care she needed was not available.

What is the potential impact on neighboring property values?

Regardless of the intended population group, an investment of high quality new residential construction always has a positive impact on a community, especially when the location is currently vacant and overgrown.

More specifically, as affordable housing has been highly scrutinized across the country in the past years, there have been many independent studies completed on the subject. There is overwhelming evidence that affordable housing does not negatively impact property values, and often increases them.

If permanent housing isn't available, what will happen to the potential residents?

Many of the people needing affordable supportive housing and not provided the option   become homeless. Without permanent supportive housing, residents with mental illnesses are much more likely to need emergency shelter housing, emergency room visits and expensive hospital care. Some suburban residents would likely seek housing in Chicago or other communities –communities with more diverse housing options, but far from the family support which is an important part of recovery from mental illness.

Will the residents  be violent or a threat to the community?

No. There is overwhelming scientific evidence showing that people with mental illness who are in treatment are no more violent or likely to commit violent crimes than is the general public. These studies also show that people with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violent crime than is the general public.

To be honest, the research also shows that people with mental illness who have substance abuse problems or who have histories of violent crime are, in fact, more likely to commit crimes than the general public is. But the residents of the Boeger Place apartments will be getting treatment for their illnesses. And before moving in, they will also be subject to criminal background checks. In accordance with HUD regulations, people with a history of criminal violence and who are substance abusers will be screened out.

Finally, and in fairness, it should also be noted that people who do not have a mental illness but who are substance abusers or who have histories of violent crime are also more violent than the general public. As one of the researchers looking into this question noted, “It is probably more dangerous to be walking outside a pub on a late night than it is to be walking outside a hospital where mental health patients are being released."

 Because of this and the screening procedures that will be in place at the Boeger Place apartments, the residents there will be no more a threat to the community than are people who already live there or who are patrons or employees of neaby businesses.

Several of these studies, or summaries of them, can be found online:

Violence and Mental Illness: The Facts

Violence and Mental Illness — How Strong is the Link?

Mentally Ill Unfairly Portrayed as Violent

Dispelling the Myth of Violence and Mental Illness

Substance Abuse, Not Mental Illness, Cause Violent Crimes

For more information about the proposed Boeger Place apartments,
please feel free to call us at 847-558-9977


Watch a video on one supportive housing project -

Good Housing. Good Neighbors.