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Basic Eligibility

The review process is designed for recovery housing operators who are currently operating recovery housing.  Prior to the on-site review, all houses you would like reviewed need to be in operation for at least 60 days and have 60% occupancy, if your home does not meet the capacity requirement, you may apply for preliminary certification.


Click here to learn more about our preliminary certification process

The review process is for recovery homes that meet the definition of recovery housing by OhioMHAS. 


Key elements of recovery housing include: 

  • Illicit Drug and Alcohol Free Living Environment

  • Recovery Housing is NOT treatment  (residents have free choice in their providers and housing is separate from treatment)

  • Resident Driven Length of Stay 

  • Peer Support and Recovery Supports 

  • Homelike Environment 

Starting January 1, 2023 organizations must list all recovery housing properties on their application for certification.  If organizations are operating properties that do not meet quality standards, they must be working in good faith to have those properties meet the quality standards in order to maintain overall certification as an organization.  Working in good faith means that there is an approved plan in place to bring the property up to the quality standards and achieve certification.  ORH will work with each operator on an individual basis to form such plans.  

Step 1: Determine Your Level of Recovery Housing

The first step to becoming an ORH Associate is to determine what level of recovery housing you operate.  Your recovery house level is mainly based on what level of support you offer, what type of staffing and/or oversight your house has, and if you offer formal programming at the recovery house. 

​Take this INTERACTVE SURVEY to determine your recovery house level. 

Step 2: Review the National Quality Standards and Code of Ethics

The step two is to become familiar with the National Quality Standards and the Code of Ethics.  The application process is designed to verify that your organization is meeting these standards.  You are also expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics.  

You are encouraged to contact Ohio Recovery Housing with any questions about the quality standards prior to submitting your application.  

Step 3: Sign Assurances

You are required to have the following assurances document signed and notarized.  This document needs to be signed by the person in your organization who is authorized to sign agreements and documents. 

This document clarifies that the Ohio Recovery Housing review is a review of your organization's recovery environment.  It is your responsibility as an organization to ensure that you are in compliance with all local, state and federal laws and codes.  It is also your responsibility to ensure that your organization carries appropriate insurance for your operation.  

When you sign this documentation, you are attesting that you have contacted the appropriate entities, have completed all appropriate inspections, that you are registered appropriately, and that you currently following all business, fiscal and reporting policies as required by the law and your organization. 


Submitting the signed assurances prior to engaging in any of these activities will be considered submitting false information to Ohio Recovery Housing and a violation of the NARR Code of Ethics.  

Step 4: Complete Online Application

After you have become familiar with the Quality Standards and the Code of Ethics, your organization may submit an application.  The organization responsible for the operations of the house is the organization that must apply for ORH certification.  

The application must be submitted using the following on-line form.  Ohio Recovery Housing will communicate with you using the phone number and e-mail address that you list on the application.  

This application will require that you upload copies of specific documentation.  The documentation requested will vary depending on the level of housing that you operate, the target population you seek to serve, and what specific services you offer. 


At minimum, you will be required to upload the following documents into your application.   Additional documents may be requested by ORH. 

  • Resident Application

  • Resident Agreement

  • Statement of Resident Rights

  • Grievance Policy

  • Medication Policy

  • Good Neighbor Policy

  • Emergency Policy

  • Communicable Disease policy

  • Written House Rules

  • Policy on Paid Work Agreements

  • Drug Testing Policy

  • Other documents as appropriate for your level of housing, target population, and specific services provided

ORH is available to provide you with technical assistance and support as you develop policies and procedures. 


Contact us at (614) 453-5133 or  

We request that you seek technical assistance and ask questions about documents prior to submitting your application.

If it is determined that your documents are incomplete or do not meet quality standards you will be allowed an opportunity to make quality improvements.  However, you will be required to make these improvements within a strict timeline.  If you are unable to make the improvements within the timeline, your application will lapse.   

Step 5: Application Review

A representative from ORH will review your application, as well as the documents you submitted with your application.  

ORH will inform you of the results of this review within 15 business days (about three weeks).  ORH will read all of the documents you submit, and will use the documentation checklists to ensure that the documents contain all required elements.  Then ORH will send you a formal communication if we have any questions, require you to submit additional documents, or if you are required to make quality improvements to your policies.  

You are required to respond to this communication with answers to questions, copies of any missing documents, or any quality improvements within 20 business days (about one month). Your response must be complete and address all questions and quality improvement recommendations.  

If you do not respond to ORH within the required time frame, your application will lapse. 

ORH will review any response your organization provided within 10 business days as to whether your application and documents are complete at this time.  If your documentation and application are still determined not to be complete your application will lapse.  

Step 6: Payment of Associate Fees 

Once it is confirmed that your application and documentation is complete, ORH will send you an invoice for your Associate Fees.  

Fees are based on the total number of properties that you would like to be certified by ORH.  Fees are charged once an onsite review is scheduled. ORH will send you an invoice for your fees. More information about what is included in Associate Fees can be found at the link below.

The review includes a one-day on-site review.  If your properties are unable to be reviewed in a single day (organizations that have more than 5 properties or properties that are a significant driving distance apart) ORH may charge an additional fee to cover the additional expense of a second day of reviews.  You are welcome to contact ORH for a quote prior to submission of your application.  


The Associate fee covers two years.  You may choose to pay the entire two year fee at once, or make two annual payments.  If you choose to make two annual payments, your second annual payment will be due one year after your first payment, regardless of when your organization is officially certified.  

If you submit payment by check, please make checks payable to:

Ohio Recovery Housing

17 S High Street

Suite 799

Columbus, OH 43215

You may also make a payment online.  Associate fees are non refundable.  

Step 7: On-Site Interview & Dwelling Review

After we receive payment of your fees, ORH will schedule an on site review.  


In order to perform the on-site review your organization needs to have been in operation for at least 60 days and have at least 60% occupancy.  

One ORH staff person and one ORH peer reviewer will perform the review.  

The Ohio Recovery Housing staff person will be there to ensure that all important topic areas are covered, be available to answer any questions you have about the quality standards, and be sure all paperwork is complete.  Any official recommendations or requirements will be communicated to you by the ORH staff member.  

The Ohio Recovery Housing peer reviewer will be there to share information and advice as a fellow peer operator.  The peer reviewer will also provide insight and share their opinion and recommendations to ORH staff concerning what quality improvement recommendations are needed.  

The review will begin with an interview.  You will be asked a questions about how your program operates and how your organizations policies and procedures are implemented in practice.  

The reviewers will also examine the physical dwelling.  Reviewers are not fire inspectors or building code inspectors.  Reviewers will be examining the recovery environment and ensuring the property meets the national quality standards.  

During this review you should be prepared to 

  1. Tell the reviewers about your application process and have copies of any documents that you would share with potential residents available 

  2. Walk the reviewers through your orientation process and have copies of any documents that you would share with residents available 

  3. Show reviewers where required documents are kept in each of the houses

  4. Explain how you keep track of resident payments.  Explain how residents may access a statement of account or get a receipt of their payments.

  5. Answer questions about your program, the services you provide, and how you connect residents to outside resources 

  6. Show the reviewers the property.  ORH will look at all common areas of the house as well as resident rooms.  

  7. To demonstrate that written policies and procedures are being implemented in practice

  8. To demonstrate that the house is clean, safe and home-like.  Reviewers should be able to see that house chores are being completed and that maintenance requests are addressed.  

  9. The bedrooms meet space requirements (70 square feet for the first person and 50 square feet for each additional person) 

  10. To demonstrate that the house has required safety equipment (such as smoke detectors in each sleeping room, CO2 detectors in homes with gas appliances, and fire extinguishers)

  11. To demonstrate how the physical environment of the house contributes to a family like environment in the home

  12. That there is enough food storage space for residents, including one full sized refrigerator per five residents 

Step 8: Implement Required Quality Improvements 

After the on-site review Ohio Recovery Housing will provide you with an official communication within 10 business days.  This communication will list of any required quality improvements that your organization needs to engage in prior to your application being considered by the board of directors.

You will be required to respond to these recommendations within 20 business days.  You may either respond by engaging the required quality improvement activity and providing appropriate documentation that quality improvement activities have been implemented or by providing ORH with a written response detailing how your organization meets the national quality standards without engaging in the required quality improvement activity.  

If you do not respond to ORH within required time lines ORH will make a recommendation on your application based on the information we have available.  

In some cases, ORH may require a second on-site review in order to verify quality improvement recommendations have been implemented.  If a second review is required, ORH will require your organization to pay a second on-site review fee of $450.  You can avoid payment of this second fee by ensuring your property is ready for an onsite review. 

Step 9: Approval by ORH Executive Committee

Once ORH has received a response from your organization concerning any required quality improvements, ORH will make a recommendation concerning your application to the ORH Executive Committee of the ORH Board of Directors.  ​

The Executive Committee  will take a vote to approve or deny your application.  In rare cases, the board may also decide not to take an official vote on the application, and instead request more information from the applicant.  

The Executive Committee meets once a month.  

ORH will communicate with you the determination of the board of directors. 

Step 10: Renewal 

If you decided to pay your associate fees in two annual payments, your second annual payment will be due one year after your initial payment. If you do not make your second annual payment in full your certification will lapse.  

Organizations are required to have a review with Ohio Recovery Housing every two years.  

It is recommended that you apply for renewal of your certification three months prior to your certification expiring.  This will allow for enough time to complete the entire process.  

If you do not complete the entire process prior to your certification expiring, your certification will lapse.  

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