What’s the Difference Between Supportive Housing and Transitional Housing?

September 8, 2021

Erin Jerome

Supportive Housing vs. Transitional Housing

Housing resources are available for those who need support for a variety of reasons, such as having a disability, chronic illness, drug addiction, mental illness, or facing homelessness. Supportive housing and transitional housing offer different options depending on the needs of individuals.

What is Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing is a type of affordable permanent housing that also makes use of support services for people with different special needs. For example, service providers can make sure people with disabilities or chronic illness manage their diet and medicine properly. Supportive housing does not have a limit on how long a person stays within the supportive housing setting. This type of housing aims to help people live more stable, productive lives. Supportive housing can help people with disabilities access better health care, assist seniors to continue living in the community, and help families in crisis stay together.

What is Transitional Housing?

Transitional housing is a space for adults or youth to live while searching for a more permanent home. Transitional housing may include support for addictions, mental health, or other issues. These accommodations are meant to bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing by offering supervision, life skills, support services and/or education and training.

Who Supportive Housing is for

Supportive housing is designed for people with developmental disabilities, people with mental illnesses, youth at risk and individuals with low-income housing needs. Each housing option reflects the needs and individuality of its members.

Who Transitional Housing is for

Transitional housing is a safe place for occupants to land and prepare for a permanent place to live. Transitional housing can serve people who need help after a crisis such as homelessness or domestic violence, or runaway or homeless youth.

youth shelter

How Supportive Housing Works vs. Transitional Housing

Eligibility and requirements vary for different providers and types of supportive and transitional housing. In New Jersey and many other states, dialing 211 helps direct callers to information and  services such as shelter and housing options, supplemental food programs, addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs and more. You can also search for services online through 211.

Where Can I Find Transitional Housing or Supportive Housing in New Jersey, and How Do I Apply?

Community Access Unlimited provides supportive housing for people with developmental disabilities and youth at risk. We also provide transitional and emergency housing for individuals with disabilities and youth at risk. Read about our housing programs and contact CAU to learn more. CAU transitional housing includes the Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP) for youth. TOP members may receive 24-hour supervised residential living, community services, daily living skills training, case management, advocacy and outreach, education, and drug and alcohol awareness education. Our housing programs are designed to meet the needs of individuals and help them achieve greater independence. CAU has emergency housing for a limited number of adults with disabilities and youth at risk, and provides additional services to runaway and homeless youth.