CSH Latest New Markets Tax Credit Investment: Portland Health Center

We are exited to announce our third New Markets Tax Credit investment this year. Last week CSH closed on a a $14.4M  New Markets Tax Credit investment to Central City Concern (CCC) for the construction of a 35,000 square foot Federally Qualified Health Center on the east-side of Portland, Oregon.

Named for CCC former Executive Director Ed Blackburn, the Blackburn building will be provide recovery and mental health services for 3,000 people annually.  In addition there will be an on-site pharmacy, respite and palliative care units and the facility is co-located with transitional and supportive housing.

 “This corner now can be the site where thousands who are suffering—and believe me, we suffer—can come for transformation, healing; families will be restored.” – Mike Holevas, Former CCC Client

The project will provide comprehensive case management, mental health and primary care to the most vulnerable populations, including homeless individuals with acute medical conditions and those exiting detoxification centers and emergency room care. The Blackburn Building will directly create 100 full time construction jobs and 67 new full time permanent jobs. CCC celebrated the ground breaking of the Blackburn Building last week.

Ground breaking press release.

Improving Care for Medically Complex Patients: Medical Respite & Supportive Housing

Medical respite programs are as unique as the individuals and communities they serve. From shelter-based care to stand-alone facilities, medical respite provides a transition for those exiting the hospital who have no permanent residence and are not well enough to return to the street. Hospital partners have seen the benefit of medical respite programs as they not only stabilize health needs, but also reduce hospital readmissions. In addition to providing necessary care, this transitional step is an
opportunity to connect vulnerable individuals to permanent housing.

This profile highlights two programs that have exemplified how medical respite care can be an effective bridge to supportive housing. Strong involvement between the health center and their local Continuum of Care, including through the coordinated assessment process, results in high rates of discharge to supportive housing.

This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement number # U30CS26935, Training and Technical Assistance National Cooperative Agreement (NCA) for $325,000 with 0% of the total NCA project financed with non-federal sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Supportive Housing for Individuals with Long Term Care Needs – Guest Blog & Training Video from Liz Prince

Liz Prince is the Project Director, Money Follows the Person Project, Washington State Department of Aging and Long-Term Support Administration

Supportive Housing is an evidence-based intervention for individuals having behavioral health needs and experiencing homelessness, but could it also be an effective intervention for individuals with long term care needs?  In Washington State, the Aging and Long Term Support Administration (ALTSA) teamed up with CSH to start a conversation about supportive housing specifically as a resource for long term care clients.

WA State has long been a leader in providing home and community based resources for its residents, but independent housing options continue to pose a challenge, particularly for individuals with very complex needs.  Designed to both give an overview of supportive housing basics and make the case for it’s potential to address some stubborn long term care service issues, this 10 minute video draws parallels between the well-defined existing supportive housing population  and people with long term care needs who struggle with existing care options.

Supportive Housing and Long-Term Care Video

OSF Grants $150,000 to CSH for FUSE Replication

OSFThe Open Society Foundations (OSF) U.S. Programs initiative supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. OSF works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grant-making and other activities include:

  • The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies,
  • Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
  • Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government.

OSF’s recent contribution of $150,000 to CSH to promote a scaled replication and the sustainability of the FUSE (Frequent Users/Utilizers Systems Engagement) model will help ensure that more people leaving our jails and prisons will have a real chance to become a part of the communities in which they live. Because of the generosity of OSF and others, CSH is able to recreate FUSE in more communities across the country.

FUSE is a CSH signature accomplishment that helps communities identify and engage high utilizers of public systems and place them into supportive housing in order to break the cycle of repeated use of costly crisis services, shelters, and the criminal justice system. In the FUSE model, supportive housing serves to smooth the transition from institution to community, promoting a transformation that serves those released from jails and prisons, and the general population, by improving lives and public safety.

The critical support of OSF and our partners will allow CSH to aggressively pursue our vision to create additional policy and resource tools, such as FUSE, that encourage cross-system collaboration and allow innovative responses to complex social problems.


CMS Issues Bulletin on Using Medicaid for Supportive Services

CMSThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has released an Informational Bulletin intended to assist states in designing Medicaid benefits, and to clarify the circumstances under which Medicaid reimburses for certain housing-related activities, with the goal of promoting community integration for individuals with disabilities, older adults needing long term services and supports (LTSS), and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Consistent with statute, CMS/CMCS can assist states with coverage of certain housing-related activities and services.

Read the full CMS/CMCS Informational Bulletin here.

For more information on how states are currently using Medicaid in supportive housing, see CSH’s four new resources, released earlier this month.

Read our joint statement with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

OrgCode, Community Solutions & CSH Launch Next Step Tool for Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth, or Next Step Tool, integrates the TAY Triage Tool, developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) through research by Eric Rice, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Southern California, with the VI-SPDAT, created by Community Solutions and OrgCode Consulting, Inc.

The TAY Triage Tool predicts which youth are most likely to experience long-term homelessness, essentially on a trajectory to becoming chronically homeless adults. The VI-SPDAT helps understand current vulnerabilities and risks to future housing stability, in order to support youth in ending their homelessness.

The Next Step Tool carefully merges all of these tested ideas together. Through a closed-ended survey where youth provide a yes, no or one-word answer, service providers have a better understanding of the intensity of supports to begin with when supporting the youth.  You can download the Next Step Tool at http://www.orgcode.com/product/vi-spdat/


The Youth SPDAT

To complement the launch of the Next Step Tool, OrgCode has also created a modified version of the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) for use specifically with youth. The Youth SPDAT was developed based on feedback from many communities using the SPDAT who identified the need for a complete assessment tool that emphasized the unique issues faced by homeless youth.

You can download the Youth SPDAT at http://www.orgcode.com/product/spdat/


CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool

The CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool – A Tool to Identify Homeless Transition Age Youth Most in Need of Supportive Housing – can be accessed directly here.


Harvard Releases State of the Nation’s Housing 2015

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has released The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 and this is what it says about our PROGRESS IN REDUCING HOMELESSNESS and the role supportive housing is playing, effectively getting people off our streets and keeping them housed:

“The lack of affordable housing in the United States continues to leave nearly 600,000 people homeless. More than a third are people in families, including 130,000 children under the age of 18. By comparison, chronically homeless individuals (those who have been without a place to live for at least a year or have had repeated episodes of homelessness over the past few years) account for a much smaller share (15 percent) of the homeless population. Recent increases in federal funding have aided progress in reducing both homelessness overall and among the most vulnerable groups. Indeed, the number of beds in permanent supportive housing expanded 60 percent between 2007 and 2014, to over 300,000. Beds for the chronically homeless accounted for just over half of this increase. As a result, total homelessness fell 11 percent in 2007–14, the number of homeless veterans dropped 19 percent, and the number of chronically homeless individuals was down by 30 percent. At the same time, however, the number of homeless people in families declined by only 8 percent.

But the national reduction in homelessness is not apparent in all markets. Rising rents and a dwindling supply of affordable rentals continue to put people at risk, especially in high-cost locations. Indeed, total homelessness jumped by 29 percent in New York and 40 percent in Massachusetts between 2007 and 2014. The increase in the District of Columbia was even larger, at 46 percent. Family homelessness is particularly acute in major cities, which were home to 45 percent of this population in 2014. New York City headed the list with 41,600 homeless people in families, or nearly 20 percent of the national total.”



An article authored by CSH Senior Program Manager Steven Shum appears in Summer 2015 edition of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) Newsletter.



By Steven Shum, CSH

Taking advantage of health reform, Bay Area communities are integrating healthcare efforts with affordable homes to better serve the most vulnerable individuals. The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) organized May’s Brown Bag on Health and Housing – highlighting new opportunities with Medi-Cal funding for supportive housing targeted to chronically homeless individuals and frequent users of crisis services. CSH trumpeted recent developments with California’s plan to implement the Health Homes option under the Affordable Care Act and the State’s submission of its 1115 Medicaid Waiver. These efforts represent key opportunities for local communities to leverage federal funding for supportive housing.

“We have been working diligently for more than 20 years to ensure steady and reliable funding to create and operate high quality supportive housing,” said Steven Shum, CSH’s Senior Program Manager in Northern CA. “And we’re on the cusp of exciting changes in the health and housing sectors.”

Panelist Preston Burnes, Provider Services Specialist with Health Plan of San Mateo, shared an update of their Community Care Settings Pilot – an innovative partnership targeting housing services and case management support to vulnerable seniors and other adults using health plan funding.

Panelist Margot Antonetty, Interim Director of Housing and Urban Health with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, discussed the City’s long-standing supportive housing efforts for homeless individuals, including 2,100 supportive housing units currently in their portfolio. Their evidence shows that supportive housing efforts have resulted in reduced emergency and inpatient medical costs and improved health outcomes and quality of life for tenants.

To participate in upcoming informational sessions on the State’s plan for Health Homes implementation, please contact: steven.shum@csh.org

New Markets Tax Credits Allocated to CSH

CSH Awarded $40 Million New Markets Tax Credits

Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced it has awarded $40 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to CSH as part of the 2014 round.

“The Department of Treasury has given us the tools to leverage even more resources to spur the creation of supportive housing,” said CSH President and CEO Deborah De Santis. “Not only will we be able to create the dynamic to house vulnerable people facing instability, this award will help us fulfill our goal of bringing healthcare services to hundreds more who need to access it.”

De Santis explained NMTC allocations can be used to develop facilities such as health care centers, which complement the medical and mental health services often made available to residents of supportive housing.

Thus far, CSH has used NMTC investments to leverage and add to other resources, which in turn have created about 200 units of supportive housing across the country, and enabled 15,000 healthcare visits for those facing homelessness and other forms of housing instability. In addition, CSH investments have generated approximately 800 high-quality permanent and construction jobs in communities.

To learn more about our use of NMTC to promote supportive housing, please see profiles of the Bell Building in Detroit, MI and Paseo Verde in Philadelphia, PA.

With the new award, CSH will address a number of supportive housing projects currently in the pipeline for development and estimates adding another 150 – 200 units of affordable housing, including supportive housing, and an additional 100,000 – 125,000 healthcare visits for those facing homelessness and housing instability.

“The investments made possible by today’s awards will have significant impact nationwide,” said Annie Donovan, Director of the CDFI Fund.

To learn more about CSH’s New Markets Tax Credit strategy visit our lending page or contact our Community Investment Team.

“CSH gets it when it comes to supportive housing and they are willing to work in partnership with developers to tailor their support and products to get the deal done.” Joe Heaphy, NSO (Bell Building) Vice-President of Real Estate Development and Management

CSH Rolls Out a Framework for Creating a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit

A lack of reliable financing for the services in supportive housing can be one of the biggest barriers to ending chronic homelessness. Medicaid can pay for these critical tenancy support services, but figuring out how to make this a reality can be challenging. In Creating a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit, CSH lays out a framework for states that want to create a Medicaid benefit to pay for supportive housing services.

CSH’s framework provides guidance in five areas of implementation: 1) Benefit eligibility, 2) Service package 3) State Medicaid plan changes, 4) Financing and reinvestment strategies, and 5) Operationalizing the benefit.

Medicaid_CoverIMageThe white paper also provides a helpful overview of Medicaid for professionals in the homeless housing field and an overview of supportive housing for those in the health care sector. It demonstrates that this type of benefit will give states a way to use their Medicaid resources more efficiently while improving the health outcomes of their most vulnerable citizens. The paper was written with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, and Washington’s Chronic Homeless Policy Academy. The examples and data are specific to Washington, but the paper is designed to be a resource for all states. Here’s what folks in Washington are saying about the paper.

Everyone working to end chronic homelessness in their state should read CSH’s Creating a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit. I read a lot of papers. This paper is unique because it is practical. It explains Medicaid for those of us in the housing world, is full of important data about housing and healthcare needs, and provides a clear framework for action.
-Tedd Kelleher, Managing Director, Housing Assistance Unit, Washington State Department of Commerce

The health care and housing sectors have a lot to learn from each other as we work to better serve people who are highly vulnerable. CSH’s paper clearly lays out what supportive housing is and the important role it plays in health care service delivery for this population.
-MaryAnne Lindeblad, Washington State Medicaid Director

Many stakeholders in the homeless housing and services community are searching for ways to create more supportive housing, and every conversation stumbles on the question: “What role can Medicaid play in the creation of supportive housing?”  Learning about Medicaid can feel overwhelming to providers and funders in the homeless system, but CSH’s paper breaks it down in a way that’s easy to understand. Their framework for implementation provides a clear and cogent structure on which we can base discussions and decisions.
-Bill Block, Region X Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The chronic homeless policy academy in Washington State is exploring innovative steps to end chronic homelessness. Creating a Medicaid supportive housing services benefit is now one of our top priorities, and CSH’s framework is guiding our efforts.
– Melodie Pazolt, Supported Employment and Supportive Housing Program Administrator, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Behavioral Health and Recovery Division