Recovery Housing Standards

Ensuring quality recovery housing begins with quality standards.

Recovery Housing Standards

Ensuring quality recovery housing begins with quality standards. MCRSP accredits recovery homes throughout the State of Missouri based on standards established by the National Alliance of Recovery Residences (NARR). In 2011, NARR made history by establishing a national standard for recovery residences. This standard defines the spectrum of recovery-oriented housing and services and distinguished four different types of housing, which are known as “levels” or “levels of support.” 

The standard was developed through a strength-based and collaborative approach that solicited input from all major regional and national recovery housing organizations. Guidance for the standard was also received from recovery residence providers (some with decades of experience) from across the nation representing all four levels of support and nationally recognized recovery support stakeholders.  NARR’s standards focus on a common Code of Ethics, as well as Access, Quality and Choice.

NARR released the second version of the standard in October 2015, and in 2018 released version 3.0, our current version. It provides more explicit guidance to providers, including metrics for evaluating the peer support components of a residence’s recovery environment. MCRSP does not accredit Level 4 houses recognized by the NARR Standards.  MCRSP only accredits levels 1-3.  MCRSP has also made adjustments to the standards to comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) housing guidelines.

The NARR Self-Assessment Checklist describes the areas by which each recovery residence is reviewed. Recovery housing providers should download a copy of the Recovery Housing Checklist and become familiar with the Recovery Housing Standards before considering submitting an application for accreditation. 

Recovery Housing Documents to Review:
Recovery Lighthouse

The Missouri Coalition of Recovery Support Providers includes recovery housing providers throughout Missouri. Recovery Lighthouse is one of the MCRSP Charter member organizations.

Recovery Housing Levels

NARR has been committed to developing and maintaining a national standard for all levels of recovery housing. The term “recovery residence” denotes safe and healthy residential environments in which skills vital for sustaining recovery are learned and practiced in a home-like setting, based on Social Model principles. The Social Model is fundamental to all levels of recovery residences. Social Model philosophy promotes norms that reinforce healthy living skills and associated values, attitudes, and connection with self and community for sustaining recovery. NARR Standard 3.0 operationalizes the Social Model across four Domains, 10 Principles, 31 Standards and their individual rules.

The Standard is tailored to each of NARR’s four levels. Version 3 of the NARR Standard does not introduce any operational rules that are not already included in Version 2. Rather, it restates them in a more logical way that improves clarity and eliminates some redundant language. Also, please keep in mind that only Levels 1-3 are recognized in Missouri.

Click the buttons below to learn more about the standard levels and the role of recovery residences in promoting long-term addiction recovery.


The National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) has developed special training modules to explore the NARR Standards, the social model of recovery and best practices in recovery housing.  These modules will also assist housing program operators to develop their own policies and procedures.  This training is free to operators in Missouri and Iowa.  To access this training, click here.