Biden-Harris Administration Announces Government Action to Address Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have unveiled the “Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator” (Accelerator), a new federal initiative that will include eight states, including the District of Columbia (DC).

The Accelerator is aimed at helping strengthen partnerships across housing, disability, aging, and health sectors, access available federal programs and resources, and maximize federal flexibilities to help keep people healthy.

The program will address health-related social needs, such as housing-related services, and assist eight states and Washington, DC, in obtaining critical resources to help decrease homelessness. The program provides technical assistance to states implementing HHS’ recently issued guidance regarding clinically appropriate and evidence-based services that can be covered under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

“Nobody in America should experience homelessness,” said said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Today we are taking important steps to help communities better access HHS’ programs to address homelessness and connect people with housing-related services and supports—which could be life changing.”

As an example, Medicaid Section 1115 demonstrations that offer case management and housing transition services to help people avoid lease violations are one way that states can improve health care access. States may also offer services that link individuals to HUD housing programs by paying for temporary housing expenses such as security deposits and rental application fees for specific transitions.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has worked tirelessly to help people experiencing homelessness to provide needed services and supports that help them maintain that housing. We will continue to work on strengthening partnerships across housing, disability, aging, and health sectors and do everything we can to prevent and address homelessness,” said Becerra.

HHS and HUD received a great response, with applications from fifteen eligible states and DC. The final selection of the receiving states is:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Washington

Over the next twelve months, HUD and HHS will provide these eight states and DC with intensive federal technical assistance and opportunities for state peer-to-peer exchange to support their implementation of clinically indicated housing-related services and support under their Medicaid programs for people with complex health needs experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

This includes people with disabilities, older adults, people with mental health disorders, people with substance use disorders, and people with other chronic medical conditions.

By receiving this federal technical assistance, these states can improve coordination and delivery of services like navigation services, ongoing individualized case management, one-time transition assistance, and home modifications that can help people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness obtain and maintain stable housing. 

“Since Day One of the Biden-Harris Administration, HUD has worked to not only expand the availability of housing assistance, but to ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to supportive services so they can permanently transition to housing,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are proud to partner with HHS and Secretary Becerra to take that work even further.”

To read the full release, including more information, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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