Washington state made a historic move to combat long-term homelessness and improve health yesterday as Governor Jay Inslee signed the Apple Health and Homes Act (HB 1866). State Representative Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) sponsored the bill that intrinsically links healthcare and housing in a way never done before in this country.
The legislation passed with bipartisan support and authorized the state's Medicaid program to provide tenancy support services paired with housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness.
Over the past several months, Debbie Thiele, Managing Director, Western Region for CSH, and her team worked with Rep. Chopp and other state legislators on crafting the supportive housing provisions of the bill.
In a statement from Washington State House Democrats, Ms. Thiele said, "Apple Health and Homes builds on significant research that demonstrates supportive housing is the most cost-effective and humane way to approach chronic homelessness. Apple Health & Homes will expedite housing production, ensure equitable outcomes, and create upstream solutions to cut down on the public costs of emergency room visits, hospital stays, and incarceration."
Significant components of the bill:
- invests in preventative and ongoing services, reducing costs to local emergency systems;
- creates more supportive housing statewide;
- expands the capacity of supportive housing providers; and
- ensures oversight and accountability through a new Office of Health and Homes.
Click here to read the complete statement.