Welcome to the BPC Health and Housing Expert Forum. Each month contributors from different parts of the health and housing sectors will be invited to respond to a discussion topic. Have a question you’d like us to consider? Please leave it in the comments.
Any views expressed on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Health and Housing Task Force, its co-chairs or the Bipartisan Policy Center.
In your experience, what are some good examples of health and housing working together in ways that have promoted positive outcomes for seniors? What has made these programs successful?
Creation of Affordable Assisted Living in St. Paul, Minnesota
By Loren Colman
Several years ago, staff working in the elderly high rises in St. Paul, Minnesota realized that many longtime residents of the buildings were becoming frailer and in need of long-term services and supports to remain in their apartments. All residents were low-income because you had to be income eligible to reside in the buildings; residents paid only 30 percent of their income for the rent. Most were also eligible for Medicaid because of their low incomes and assets. Typically, residents with increasing service needs would have moved to a nursing home where the cost of their care through Medicaid would greatly increase.
Most of my experience with constructive partnerships of housing and health care providers has grown out of my work with Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) members. SAHF’s eleven non-profit members provide affordable rental apartments for 116,000 households—seniors, low-income families, and persons with disabilities. With support from the Kresge and Annie E. Casey Foundations, SAHF is tracking life outcomes of residents across the fields of health and wellness, income and assets, children and education, housing stability, and community engagement and developing ways of assisting residents to improve those outcomes.
Harnessing Technology Will be Critical to Promoting Senior Health
By Khaila Montgomery
As the U.S. population continues to age, the need for affordable and supportive housing increases. According to the National Council on Aging, 92 percent of seniors have at least one chronic disease. Thus, seniors will require long-term care coordination and support services to help them age in their homes and communities.
Efforts to Outcomes: National Church Residences’ Care Guide
By Erika Poethig and Pamela Blumenthal
Among the many partnerships and innovations between housing and health providers to help seniors age well, National Church Residences’ efforts to identify and support those residents most at risk through its Care Guide assessment tool is a promising practice. Housing providers can play an important role both as a platform for improved care delivery and by coordinating care as the “eyes and ears” on the ground where residents live.