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The Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative Plus (HASI Plus) is a program for people with severe mental illness and significant difficulties managing day to day living. The program is transitional, rehabilitation and recovery-oriented, and community-based. HASI Plus integrates clinical and intensive psychosocial support that is available up to 16 or 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with stable, community-based accommodation.

HASI Plus is a statewide program funded by the NSW Ministry of Health (the Ministry). The HASI Plus service model is delivered locally as a partnership between host local health districts (LHDs) and specialist mental health community managed organisations (CMOs). Started in 2013, there are currently 70 HASI Plus places across 8 accommodation sites hosted in 4 LHDs.

The Ministry commissioned the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) to evaluate the HASI Plus program. The evaluation involved 2 rounds of qualitative interviews and focus groups, as well as the analysis of quantitative program data and statewide outcomes data about consumers. The evaluation ran from August 2018 to August 2021.

 The factors identified as most important for the success of the program were:

  • the access to safe and secure housing as part of the service model
  • intensive on-site supports
  • strong local partnerships between CMOs and LHDs; and
  • the flexible, person-centred approach to service provision.

The main areas where the program was either not performing as some stakeholders expected, or where the evaluation suggested inconsistency with the documented service model were:

  • inequitable access to HASI Plus as a statewide resource, especially for consumers referred from non-host LHDs
  • low numbers of people supported in HASI Plus following release from prison. The multiple reasons included challenges with custodial release timing and processes; low awareness of the program among the prison sector; difficulties for the cohort to satisfy the eligibility criteria; and CMO provider and LHD clinician concerns about the suitability of the program for this client group.
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