Homelessness Initiatives

Advancing Access to Affordable Housing as a Means to Maximize Opportunities for Community Living

In support of President Obama’s Year of Community Living initiative, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) furthered their collaborative efforts and identified another initiative to increase the availability of affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities who receive long term services and supports in the community funded by Medicaid.

On September 30, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the award of $1,980,000 in grants to six States to develop sustainable partnerships with State Housing Agencies under the Real Choice Systems Change Grant Program. These grants will result in long-term strategies to provide permanent and affordable rental housing for people with disabilities who receive Medicaid services, who are homeless and participants under the CMS Money Follows the Person Demonstration.

Ending Chroninc Homelessness SMD Letter

Updating Medicaid Information Relevant To Homeless Individuals

In conjunction with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), CMS has updated A Primer on How to Use Medicaid to Assist Persons Who are Homeless to Access Medical, Behavioral Health, and Support Services. This manual pulls together information about Medicaid that is especially relevant in assisting homeless individuals, including people who experience chronic homelessness. The Primer is intended to serve as a resource for state officials and homeless program managers to support efforts to access and coordinate services and supports for homeless people and can be found here: A Primer on Using Medicaid to Support People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants of Permanent Supportive Housing (2014).


In anticipation of changes stemming from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), contracted with Abt Associates in October 2010 to conduct a study to explore the roles that Medicaid, Health Centers, and other HHS programs might play in providing services for people who had experienced chronic homelessness before moving into permanent supportive housing (PSH). 

This study examined the intersection of three pieces of a complex puzzle that if assembled correctly can end chronic homelessness: (1) chronic homelessness itself; (2) permanent supportive housing; and (3) Medicaid's potential to fund health-related services for people experiencing chronic homelessness or living in PSH. The report can be found here: Medicaid and Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals: Emerging Practice from the Field (2014).