Supportive Housing Model
housing model combines subsidized or affordable housing options with access to a range of
coordinated health and human services. The National Governors
Association Center for Best Practices’ report
describes the services available in the supportive housing model—including tenancy support, health care,
behavioral health, and referrals to social support. Supportive housing is relevant for individuals experiencing
chronic homelessness, people with disabilities, or people with substance use disorders. Supportive housing may
be temporary or permanent. In permanent
supportive housing programs, residents typically lease their own
subsidized housing units without limits on the length of stay.
Many different organizations can create and operate supportive housing programs, including health care agencies,
community-based organizations focused on homelessness or affordable housing, and private developers. Supportive
housing programs often involve case managers who help residents connect to services. In addition to coordinating
with primary care and behavioral health providers, case managers may
help residents enroll in public assistance programs, job skills training, and support groups.
Examples of Supportive Housing Models
Considerations for Implementation
Supportive housing programs can be resource- and time-intensive. Housing options may be limited in some rural
and frontier communities. Program planners may also face barriers
to securing funding to build new supportive housing units in rural areas. For example, rural programs may need
to compete for community development funds that could also be allocated to improving infrastructure or directed
to other community priorities.
Rural program planners should explore different funding sources to provide supportive housing services. One
critical source of funding for supportive housing is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
To receive HUD funding for supportive housing, rural programs must work through a Continuum of Care
organization, which aims to promote community-wide coordination of resources and services for homeless
Many states are using Medicaid
funding as sustainable financing models for supportive services. The Office of the Assistant Secretary
for Planning and Evaluation provides two resources with additional information about using Medicaid to fund
supportive housing: A Primer on Using
Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants in Permanent Supportive Housing and Medicaid and Permanent Supportive
Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals: Emerging Practices from the Field.
Resource to Learn More
Housing Helps Vulnerable People Live and Thrive in the Community
This policy brief provides a comprehensive overview of the key components of supportive housing and reviews
evidence related to cost savings and health outcomes.
Author(s): Dohler, E., Bailey, P. Rice, D., & Hannah, H.
Organization(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit: A Framework for Washington and Other States
This report describes the interaction between supportive housing and improved health outcomes and outlines
strategies for using Medicaid funding to integrate supportive services.
Author(s): Thiele, D.
Supportive Housing Plan
This plan describes how the State of Alaska will implement a permanent supportive housing model that will serve
residents will behavioral health conditions and coordinate resources among partner agencies.
Author(s): Holland, P. & Martone, K.
Organization(s): Technical Assistance Collaborative, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services: Division
of Behavioral Health