Housing Assistance Waiver
The Agency for Health Care Administration implemented a housing assistance pilot, in collaboration with certain health plans, on December 1, 2019. Through this program, Florida Medicaid will be providing evidence-based community supports and services that will assist in securing housing for Medicaid recipients ages 21 and older who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness (SMI), substance use disorder (SUD). The overall goal is to facilitate housing stability and improve health outcomes for participants. Up to 4,000 Medicaid recipients can be served annually.
This program is only available through the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program for recipients residing in regions five and seven. Health plans operating in those regions were required to submit a housing assistance application to participate in the program. As a part of that process, the plan had to demonstrate their ability to provide the services offered through the pilot as well as demonstrate strong linkages through community partnerships. The participating plans are:
Transitional housing services: Transitional housing services support a recipient in the preparation for and transition into housing. Examples include:
- Conducting a tenant screening and housing assessment
- Developing an individualized housing support plan
- Assisting with the search for housing and the application process
- Identifying resources to pay for on-going housing expenses such as rent
- Ensure that the living environment is safe and ready for move-in
Tenancy sustaining services: Tenancy sustaining services are services that support a recipient in being a successful tenant. Examples include:
- Early identification and intervention for behaviors that may jeopardize housing
- Education and training on the roles, rights and responsibilities of the tenant and landlord
- Coaching on developing and maintaining key relationships with landlord/property managers
- Assistance in resolving disputes with landlords and/or neighbors to reduce risk of eviction
- Advocacy and linkage with community resources to prevent eviction
Mobile crisis management: Mobile crisis management is intensive on-site intervention to recipients experiencing a behavioral health crisis provided by a team of behavioral health professional who are available 24/7/365.
Self-help/peer support: Self-help/peer support is person centered service promoting skills for coping with and managing symptoms while utilizing natural resources and the preservation and enhancement of community living skills with the assistance of a peer support specialist.
Incidental Coverage: Health plans can elect to cover one time incidentals such as cash assistance for pilot participation including deposit(s), rent, and utilities.
Medicaid Regions Included in Pilot Program
- Medicaid Regions five (Pinellas and Pasco County) and seven (Seminole, Orange, Brevard, and Osceola Counties) are the only areas where the services are available.
- ONLY Medicaid enrollees living in Region five and Region seven are eligible to participate. Region five is highlighted in orange and region seven is highlighted in red. Enrollees living in all other areas are not eligible for participation in the pilot program.
- The participants must meet the additional eligibility requirements of having an SMI, SUD, or a co-occurring SMI and SUD.
- The participants must also be homeless or at risk of being homeless.