Abt Associates released “Making Subsidized Rental Housing a Platform for Improved Health for Vulnerable Populations” at an event at the National Press Club on September 12. The authors of the paper, Jill Khadduri and Gretchen Locke, note that “access to housing subsidies can contribute to positive health outcomes” and that the combination of housing and services can also help achieve savings in federal health expenditures.
The intent of the paper is to stimulate conversation about increasing the coordination of housing subsidies and health care “for people for whom housing is most likely to be a platform for health improvement or stabilization for health conditions.” The nine proposals described in the paper are not official policy recommendations.
The authors suggest that the Section 202 program could better serve elderly people with severe health conditions by offering information and referral services, increasing funds to preserve units and having more targeted tenant selection policies.
Increased use of Housing Choice Vouchers, public housing, and Section 8 projects for supportive housing for people with vulnerable health would be a more effective use of scare housing assistance resources. The authors recommend HUD achieve this by:
- Encouraging owners of public and assisted housing developments and administrators of the Housing Choice Voucher program to give admissions preference to applicants who need supportive housing.
- Providing incentives to create additional supportive housing in Notices of Fund Availability (NOFAs). The authors point to the recently announced Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration as an example (see Memo, 5/18).
Finally, the paper notes that the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility in 2014 will provide opportunities for states to develop tailored benefit plans to serve special populations such as chronically homeless people.
Click here to view the paper.
NLIHC has long supported a “Housing Plus Services” model that integrates health care and other services with affordable housing. This approach helps low income people achieve stability and can be of the greatest benefit to those transitioning out of homelessness.