Overview and Goal

The topics of health and housing have been a focus of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) work over the past several years. In its 2013 report, the BPC Housing Commission determined that the United States is largely unprepared for the overwhelming number of Baby Boomers who expect to age in their own homes and communities. The commission called for better coordination of housing and health care services to respond to this emerging challenge.

BPC’s Long-Term Care Initiative, launched in April 2014, is working to identify policy options related to Medicaid and Medicare that situate housing within the context of the integration of long-term care, also known as long-term services and supports, and health care delivery.

BPC formed the Senior Health and Housing Task Force to underscore the synergies between health care and housing in fostering improved health outcomes, cost savings, and enhanced quality of life for America’s aging population. Too often, housing and health care are treated as separate and exclusive areas of concern. The task force’s goal is to help policymakers bridge the gap. Stable, affordable housing can improve health outcomes and reduce the costs imposed on the health care system.

The task force’s efforts will include:

  • Examining cost-effective ways to modify our homes and communities to make independent living for seniors safe and viable. Identifying potential funding sources will be a key part of that effort.
  • Highlighting best practices for integrating housing, health care, and long-term services and supports from diverse states and localities. We seek to highlight what works and research how the best programs and strategies can be replicated elsewhere.
  • Identifying barriers to providing home- and community-based services and supports through Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Identifying opportunities for further collaboration between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services.

Project Outputs

Policy Recommendations

Healthy Aging Begins at Home
May 23, 2016

Issue Briefs
The task force will author background papers on key issues at the intersection of health and housing, including those outlined above.

America’s Growing Senior Population: Assessing the Dimensions of the Demographic Challenge
September 24, 2015

Expert Forums
BPC will invite contributors from different parts of the health and housing sectors to respond to a discussion topic.

Aging in Place in Rural Communities
February 24, 2016

Falls Prevention
December 4, 2015

The Role of Technology in Aging in Place
October 5, 2015

Highlighting Successful Programs for Seniors
August 4, 2015

Public Events
The task force will convene a number of public events with industry leaders, technical experts, and stakeholders from various fields and regions of the country.

Recommendations for Healthy Aging: Integrating Health Care and Housing
May 23, 2016

Senior Health and Housing Regional Forum in Philadelphia
January 26, 2016

Connecting Housing and Health: A Regional Forum in Minnesota
September 24, 2015

Task Force Members and Advisory Council

The Senior Health and Housing Task Force consists of two Republicans and two Democrats with experience and expertise in the housing and health policy fields. Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, former Senator and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, former Representative Allyson Schwartz, and former Representative Vin Weber will work together to bridge the political divide as well as the policy silos that have separated the housing and health sectors.

The advisory council to the Senior Health and Housing Task Force, a politically diverse group of practitioners, academics, and policy experts, will serve as a sounding board and critical source of guidance. The council will assist in identifying innovative practices, new research, and key policies that enable Americans to age successfully in their homes and communities.