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ISSUES

Poor quality housing and housing instability are hidden drivers of poor health and high healthcare costs.

Conversely, quality homes can reduce the presence of chronic diseases in children and adults and lead to healthier communities. More and more studies are supporting these observations, and health care professionals are taking notice. With mandates and incentives in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and new rules for Medicaid funding, health providers are looking to partner with housing and homeless providers to improve the lives of the families and individuals they work with.
The Housing Alliance has added health and housing to our organizational strategic direction and recently released a survey to help us tailor our efforts (see survey results here).  The following is an introduction to this important collaboration.

Medicaid

The Affordable Care Act incentivizes states to expand Medicaid, subsequently expanding coverage to include a variety of individuals previously ineligible (see details here), as well as increasing potential funding for effective programs and services that were previously ineligible for reimbursement. This is where the affordable housing and homeless providers have the opportunity to increase the available supportive services they can provide to individuals and families in their communities.
In order to encourage legislation or administrative restructuring to meet that need, an extensive research and analysis of the current Pennsylvania Medicaid system is required. Currently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is funding Project HOME, the Housing Alliance, PA Health Law Project, and Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) to complete a “Medicaid Crosswalk” in Pennsylvania.
The Crosswalk is an analysis of which services in supportive housing align with and are covered by the State Medicaid Plan and explores future Medicaid coverage for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness with chronic behavioral health conditions. CSH’s consulting team is conducting this research with a focus on reducing health care costs and improving health outcomes in low-income communities by advocating for the use of state Medicaid dollars to fund services in permanent supportive housing for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable populations.
[1] Pennsylvania is certainly not the first to look at Medicaid as a resource for community development and supportive services. Several other states provide potential frameworks and lessons learned that can be applied right here in Pennsylvania (see what other states are doing here).

Supportive Housing

The Housing Alliance has added health and housing to our organizational strategic direction and recently released a survey to help us tailor our efforts (see survey results here).  The following is an introduction to this important collaboration.

Community-Based Preventative Health Care

There are currently emerging funding streams that allow healthcare and public health professionals to build the capacity to partner with community development and housing professionals in local areas who have long understood that, without housing, health care remains disease management.
In fact, health and housing sectors target similar low-income areas. Studies show that the percentage of people who report experiencing poor or fair health increase as the income and education level decrease.[6]

The Housing Alliance is currently compiling a master list of coalitions and agencies working to merge these once siloed sectors all across the state.

If you know of organizations working on community/ housing development as a way of improving health outcomes through collaboration with healthcare entities, contact info@housingalliancepa.org with the name of the organization, location, and  contact information.

Next Steps

Moving forward, the Housing Alliance will build collectively on our knowledge of policy options and state movement around health, housing and Medicaid policies that impact the lives of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians. The Housing Alliance has adopted the health and housing movement as a part of our strategic direction and commitment to education and advocating with our members and community partners.
[1] Cheryl Winter, Senior Program Manager, CSH
[5] HHS.gov- Building Healthier Communities by Investing in Prevention

 

News

    • 2008-2017 State Budget Chart updated April 6, 2017

      Revised 4/6/17 Figures are rounded. 1 Tax Credit; part of the Tax code not the Budget. 2 Also included in HSDF Block Grant. 3 2012-2013 through 2016-2017 funded from the Homeowner Assistance Settlement Fund, not General Fund. 4 Funded from Act 13 Impact Fees. Minimum of $5 M but by formula the amount has been …more

    • Governor Wolf Announces New PHARE Funding to Support Affordable Housing across Pennsylvania

      Press Release from Governor Tom Wolf’s Office Published: April 13, 2017 Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced recipients of a new round of funding for housing programs made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund. This funding is a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax earmarked through Act 58 …more

    • Why Housing Policy Should Be Health Policy

      By: Andrew Small, Atlantic City Lab Published: April 12, 2017 In the spring and summer of 2011, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania strapped heart monitors onto test subjects and set them loose on the side streets of Philadelphia. The subjects strolled around two clusters of vacant lots. Some of the lots had received a …more

    • Governor Wolf announces recipients of PHARE funding

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT Victoria Bourret, Communications and Project Manager Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania 215-576-7044 victoria@housingalliancepa.org Date: April 13, 2017 Harrisburg, PA- Today $12 million was awarded to 68 programs and projects across 38 counties in Pennsylvania to expand the availability of homes within reach of low wage workers and people on fixed incomes. …more

    • In Ohio County That Backed Trump, Word of Housing Cuts Stirs Fear

      By: Yamiche Alcindor Published: April 2, 2017 KINSMAN, Ohio — For years, Tammy and Joseph Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating …more

    • Webinar Recording: Medicaid and Supportive Housing Services

      Medicaid, in its expanded form, creates new opportunities for more people to get connected to the care and services they need to be healthy.  However, Medicaid in PA could be stronger, when it comes to linking vulnerable people with housing in order to help them manage their medical conditions.  Learn about the progress made on …more

    • State and National News on the President’s Proposed FY18 Budget

      3/17/2017; updated April 3, 2017 Since the President’s budget came out yesterday, there have been many news articles published about what it means for Non Defense Discretionary programs and the people they serve. There has also been analyses published by National Groups digging deeper into long term impacts of such a budget. All related articles …more

    • Congress Decides What Happens with the Budget

      Posted March 16, 2017  YOUR ACTION IS CRITICAL In the past few weeks and months, we have seen more of you engage in conversations and meetings with your federal Members of Congress than ever before. It is extremely important that we continue to engage with our Senators and Representatives to advocate for resources for housing and …more

    • Aging Homeowners Drive Growth in Remodeling as Millennials Begin to Gain Footing

      By: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University Published: February 28, 2017 CAMBRIDGE, MA – Homeowner spending on remodeling is expected to see healthy growth through 2025, according to Demographic Change and the Remodeling Outlook, the latest biennial report in the Improving America’s Housing series released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing …more

    • Webinar Recording: Innovative Approaches to Combating Opioid and Heroin Abuse

      Recorded on March 4, 2017 Opioid use and related deaths have reached epidemic levels in the state of Pennsylvania.  More people die from a drug overdose than a car crash. Ten Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose; there were over 3,500 deaths in 2015 alone. This crisis does not discriminate and affects people …more

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