You may have heard about Washington State’s Healthier Washington initiative by now. Healthier Washington will transform health care so that people experience better health during their lives, receive better care when they need it, and care is more affordable and accessible. Importantly, the initiative includes factors outside the doctor’s office—like affordable housing and employment.
As part of Healthier Washington, the state is applying to the federal government for permission to use Medicaid to fund nontraditional services, including those that help people remain housed. The current proposal includes several components that are important for housing:
- Permanent Supportive Housing: The details of eligible populations and funding procedures are under development. Housing capital costs and room & board remain ineligible for Medicaid funds.
- Supported Employment: Many homeless or at-risk parents have disabilities and need specialized support to find and maintain employment.
- Flexible Funds: For evidence-based and promising practices that would be administered by Accountable Communities of Health (ACH). Find out how to get involved in your local ACH here.
- Behavioral and Physical Health Integration: Better connected, higher quality health care can help homeless parents manage their conditions and maintain housing stability.
You can support this major advance by attending a public meeting or providing a support letter. Contact Anna Markee, (206) 805-6124, if you’re interested. When the complete draft proposal is ready later this month, Building Changes will provide suggested messages and details about how to submit your letter. Watch for information from the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance as well.
Public Meeting Schedule
- Monday, August 3, 8-10 AM, Pierce College-Ft. Steilacoom, Lakewood
- Monday, August 3, 1-3 PM, Everett Community College, Everett
- Tuesday, August 4, 8-10 AM, Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima
- Tuesday, August 4, 2-4 PM, Columbia Basin College, Pasco
- Wednesday, August 5, 10 AM-Noon, Spokane Regional Health District, Spokane
- If you have questions on any health related topic, contact Anna Markee, Senior Manager at Building Changes.
- Medicaid Transformation Fact Sheet
- Connecting the Dots Between Housing, Homelessness, and Health Care Brief: Accountable Communities of Health: Housing Voices Needed
- Medicaid Transformation Concept Paper
- Washington Low Income Housing Alliance: Help End Chronic Homelessness by Creating a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit
- Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Informational Bulletin on Housing Related Services