As state health officials and governors drive toward improved outcomes and reduced costs for their complex care populations, a common gap has quickly emerged: access to affordable housing. Homeless Medicaid beneficiaries are often the highest users of avoidable emergency services because without stable, supportive housing and reliable access to food, their behavioral, mental and physical health needs cannot be adequately addressed.

Supportive housing is a proven intervention for the chronically homeless that pairs subsidized housing with coordinated support services for residents. By leveraging Medicaid’s ability to pay for care coordination and case management alongside the creation of a supportive housing benefit, state health officials can expand capacity to provide the “support” in supportive housing. The NGA Center is currently working with states to develop sustainable supportive housing strategies, with a special focus on high-need, high-cost Medicaid enrollees.