Abstract Housing practices and models of community care for persons disabled by mental illness have undergone significant evolution in the last 30 years. This review of over 750 reports from academic and grey literatures examines the evolution of policy and best practice movements that have linked housing, treatment, and supports for persons with a mental illness disability. A notable gap in this literature is that reports assume homogeneity among this population with the disability as the prime criteria for housing type. Canadian acceptance of a diverse society includes acceptance of subpopulations that have significant and unique needs which are unaccounted for in this housing literature. These include people who are "hard to house" because of severe functional impairments, the elderly, those of Aboriginal or non-Western (European) ethnic origin, and people in small town and rural settings. This synthesis of the literature challenges the unspoken assumption that all persons disabled by a mental illness need or accept a uniform housing approach.