Issue Briefs | Jan 17, 2020

State Investments in Supportive Housing

Stephanie Anthony, Patricia Boozang, and Mandy Ferguson, Manatt Health

Supportive housing combines transitional or permanent housing with support services that help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, people with disabilities, and older adults to secure and maintain housing. Research shows that access to affordable, safe, and stable housing can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. While Medicaid typically does not pay for housing (room and board), it does pay for some clinical and non-clinical services that can help people obtain and maintain their housing. More recently, new federal authorities to cover housing-related services have motivated states to think more broadly about the Medicaid populations who could benefit from access to housing-related services and the types of services that can promote housing stability.

This issue brief provides an overview of the federal authorities under which states are able to cover nonclinical housing-related services for high-need Medicaid enrollees and also details how states are using these authorities to invest in supportive housing for diverse high-need Medicaid populations. As a companion to the issue brief, Manatt Health has produced State Investments in Supportive Housing: An Inventory of State Efforts, which provides an in-depth look at states that are leveraging federal authorities to offer supportive housing benefits.