Recovery Housing Basics

Defining Recovery Housing:  There are several documented definitions of recovery

housing, and many are provided here for your reference.  According to Ohio Revised Code Section

340.01 (A) (3), “Recovery Housing” means housing for individuals recovering from drug addiction

that provides an alcohol and drug-free living environment, peer support, assistance with obtaining

drug addiction services, and other drug addiction recovery assistance.   [Effective 9/15/2016]
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NARR Levels of Recovery Residences: NARR has established four levels of recovery residences that offer differing levels of care.  Rather than serving as a linear, step-down continuum of services, the models meet the varying needs of people in recovery, allowing them to move in and out of the levels as needed, and as the resources are available.  Each tier delineates the services and supports that are available to residents.

While recovery housing may encompass models outside of NARR’s four levels of recovery residences, this framework is useful for understanding the research base behind recovery housing. Each level of recovery residence provides peer-based recovery support with a varying range of structured and peer support services (e.g., in-residence case management, employment support, or life skills training) to meet the needs of residents.   (Read More...)


Outcomes: Research on recovery housing shows positive outcomes and reflects all of the pieces that are needed to help a person regain stability, and the personal, social, and economic domains that are affected by addiction.  While there are many studies, here are some findings of note: (Read More…)


Costs and Benefits of Recovery Housing: Studies attempting to calculate the economic costs and benefits of establishing recovery homes have overwhelmingly found that the benefits far outweigh the costs.  Numerous other studies have evaluated other tangible outcomes for individuals living in recovery homes.  (Read More…)


Definitions for Recovery Housing

Research on Recovery Housing 

Sample Forms and Templates

ORH is working on developing sample forms and templates.

Helpful Links

Costs and Benefits


Recovery homes have been shown to impact gains in employment, increase family and social functioning, improve psychological and emotional well-being, decrease substance use, reduce criminal activity, and increase quality of life measures—a multidimensional construct that includes physical, mental, and social aspects of an individual’s life (Jason et al., 2007a; Lo Sasso et al., 2012; Polcin et al., 2010).

Lo Sasso et al. (2012) found that following substance abuse treatment, the average net benefit of residency in a peer-run recovery home, compared to returning to one’s original community, is $29,000 per person when the cost of substance use, illegal activity, and incarceration were factored in.  Borkman et al. (1998) found that compared to therapeutic community residential treatment centers (Level IV) that provide greater levels of services (e.g. detox), supervised homes (Level III) cost considerably less per treatment episode: $4,405 versus $2,712, respectively.

A study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that in a sample of 150 participants where half were assigned to a peer-run residence and half returned to their original neighborhoods after treatment, those in the recovery residence earned on average $550 more per month.  This is attributed to an expanded social network and access to employment opportunities offered in the recovery residence, which can lead to higher paying jobs (Jason et al., 2006). Over the course of a year, this translated to $494,000 for study participants in the peer-run recovery residence condition (Jason et al., 2006).  This same study also found that a decreased rate of incarceration for study participants translated to a savings of $119,000. When productivity and reduced incarceration costs are combined, this yielded a net savings of $613,000 for the recovery residence participants in this study.

Jason and Ferrari (2010) conducted a cost analysis of one peer-run residence model (Oxford House) in 2007 to determine whether the Oxford House model, as opposed to a traditional, fully staffed halfway house model, resulted in cost savings to taxpayers.  The study concluded that if the Oxford Houses had been traditional halfway houses, the cost to taxpayers would have been $224.4 million to cover staffing, housing maintenance, facility fees, and other expenses. In comparison, Oxford House, Inc. received only $1.6 million in grants from state and local governments during fiscal year 2007, while residents nationwide spent an additional $47.8 million to pay the operational expenses of the homes that same year (Oxford House, Inc., 2007).  The peer-run recovery house model resulted in significant cost savings for taxpayers.

Jason, L. A., Olson, B. D., Ferrari, J. R., & Lo Sasso, A. T. (2006). Communal housing settings enhance substance abuse recovery. American Journal of Public Health, 96(10), 1727-1729. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2005.070839

Jason, L. A., Davis, M. I., Ferrari, J. R., & Anderson, E. (2007a). The need for substance abuse aftercare: Longitudinal analysis of Oxford House. Addictive Behaviors, 32(4), 803-818. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.06.014

Jason, L. A. & Ferrari, J. R. (2010). Oxford House recovery homes: Characteristics and effectiveness. Psychological Services, 7(2), 92-102. doi:10.1037/a0017932.

Lo Sasso, A. T., Byro, E., Jason, L. A., Ferrari, J. R., & Olson, B. (2012). Benefits and costs associated with mutual-help community-based recovery homes: The Oxford House model. Evaluation and Program Planning, 35(1), 47-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2011.06.006

Oxford House, Inc. (2007). Annual report, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordhouse.org/userfiles/file/doc/ar2007.pdf

Polcin, D. L., Korcha, R. A., Bond, J., & Galloway, G. (2010). Sober living houses for alcohol and drug dependence: 18-month outcomes. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 38(4), 356-365. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2010.02.003




Ohio Recovery Housing | 35 E. Gay Street, Suite 401 | Columbus, OH | 43215

614-453-5133 |  info@ohiorecoveryhousing.org