Housing and Residential Services
Everyone should have a safe and affordable place to live. For individuals with mental illness, housing is an essential component of recovery. Research shows a person with stable housing is more likely to be engaged in their treatment and recovery process and less likely to use costly hospital and crisis response services.
The contracted mental health providers of the King County Mental Health Plan (KCMHP) own or manage approximately 2,300 units of affordable and subsidized housing for adults with mental illness who are enrolled in the KCMHP system. These transitional and permanent housing units are located throughout King County. KCMHP does not own or operate any housing.
Most of the housing units have a rental subsidy. Tenants pay approximately 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities. The continuum of care among housing services ranges from independent living to housing environments where staff is available, on-site, 24-hours-a-day to provide support. Many of the mental health providers use a supportive housing model that includes on-site independent living skills training and case management services.
How to apply for housing services
If you are currently enrolled in the KCMHP and would like to apply for mental health housing services, contact your mental health agency and ask about their range of housing options. Most agencies only provide housing to consumers who are enrolled with their agency. Unfortunately, there is not enough subsidized housing for everyone in need. Initially, you likely will be placed on a "wait list." Once you are on your agency's wait list, your agency will notify you as soon as a housing option becomes available. Due to these waiting periods, KCMHP advises consumers to apply for housing with other affordable housing providers in Seattle and King County. For a complete list of other housing options, go to Crisis Clinic or call the Crisis Clinic Information line at 211.
In addition to the housing described above, KCMHP contracts for specialized housing services known as Residential Services. These residential environments are licensed boarding homes and residential treatment facilities. They are available for adults who are not yet ready to live on their own and need daily supervision. The facilities are staffed 24-hours-a-day seven days a week and provide room and board, housing stabilization services, and medication monitoring. Residential facilities are licensed by either the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) or the Department of Health (DOH).
KCMHP offers two levels of residential care:
- Supervised Living (SL): This transitional level of care is for people with mental illness who are not yet able to live on their own in the community. Individuals receive room and board, residential stabilization services and daily support services. Individuals have the opportunity to join in-house and agency organized community activities. On-site staff assist residents with housing issues. Residents also have an outpatient mental health case manager that provides mental health treatment in the community.
- Long Term Rehabilitation (LTR): This transitional level of care is more intensive than Supervised Living. Additional services provided at Long Term Rehabilitation facilities include: on-site psychiatric evaluation, medication management and case management for both housing and mental health needs.
How to apply for Residential Services (specialized housing services)
KCMHP contracts with five mental health providers to offer residential services. The mental health providers operate 483 beds in 12 residential facilities. If you are currently enrolled in the KCMHP and would like to apply for residential services, contact your mental health agency and ask about their range of Residential Services. If you do not have a case manager, call our Residential Screener at 206-263-6797 for an appointment.