Promoting consumer choice and empowerment through tenant choice of supportive housing case manager

John J. Jost, Aaron J. Levitt, Anthony Hannigan, Adina Barbosa, Stacy Matuza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents findings from in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with 31 formerly homeless tenants and nine direct service staff at a supportive housing site, where a structured process for matching tenants with case managers ('Tenant Choice') was piloted in which tenants were offered the option of choosing their respective case managers. Tenant Choice aims to increase the opportunity for tenants to make choices that will enable them to have more control over their treatment and recovery and obtain the optimal match between tenant and case manager. This study sought to understand how tenants and staff experienced Tenant Choice, determine whether Tenant Choice was meeting its goals, and identify areas for improvement. The major themes identified were: (1) pre-existing satisfaction drove tenant choices; (2) personal qualities of case managers were valued by tenants over professional qualifications and work experience; (3) the views of tenants and staff differed regarding whether minimal contact versus extended contact leads to better choices and working relationships; (4) the option of choice was valued by tenants regardless of whether it led to a change of case manager; and (5) staff concerns failed to materialize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-91
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Choice
  • Empowerment
  • Homelessness
  • Mental health
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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