Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing Guidebook

In creating and sharing the CSH Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing, CSH strives to:

  • Build the capacity of the supportive and affordable housing industries to create and operate highquality,
    effective, and sustainable supportive housing units
  • Encourage the investment of adequate resources, especially from public systems, to support that
  • Ensure that existing resources for supportive housing are being used efficiently and effectively,
    and support the allocation of new resources
  • Create better outcomes for supportive housing tenants, especially those with multiple barriers to
    housing stability

Resources for Building Health Center and Housing Partnerships: Literature Review and Resource Bank

With the growing appreciation of housing as a social determinant of health, health center and housing partnerships are on the rise nationally. Recognizing the layers to developing a health and housing partnership, this Literature Review and Resource Bank is intended to provide background and data resources that can be used in grant applications or in conversations with potential funders in the effort to foster new health and supportive housing partnerships.

Grant Opportunity Announced by HHS, ACYF Children’s Bureau

Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Substance Abuse

Application Due Date: August 13, 2018 by 11:59 PM ET

The Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First) was signed into law on February 9, 2018. This legislation creates historic reforms that are a positive step forward to help children remain safely with their families and support youth on a successful transition to adulthood by restructuring the main federal funding stream for child welfare to expand and enhance prevention efforts. The Family First Prevention Services Act amends Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act which governs federally funded child welfare activities across the country. Family First reauthorizes and updates the Regional Partnership Grants (RPG), targeted grants to increase the well-being of, and improve the permanency outcomes for, children affected by methamphetamine or other substance abuse. The updates to the grants better align with the new Title IV-E prevention services focus, including specifying mandatory partners, such as the public child welfare agency, appropriate courts and the state agency administering the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant, as well as optional public and community based partners.

RPG grantees are to use specific, well-defined, and evidence-based programs that are also trauma-informed and targeted to the identified population. Earlier RPG grantees learned that it is important to include additional service sectors beyond the child welfare, court, and treatment providers. While housing and homeless response providers would not be the primary applicant, the need for housing solutions has been identified as a critical foundational need in prior rounds of RPG. Therefore, as communities consider applications for the 2018 grants, there is an exciting opportunity for housing providers and homeless response system partners to be included as a part of the teams receiving re-authorized and updated Regional Partnership grants under Title IV-B. Including housing providers and homeless system response partners in the Regional Partnership Grant program aligns with the program goal of helping states, tribes, and communities across the nation develop regional partnerships to provide, through interagency collaboration and integration, programs and services that increase permanency, safety and well-being outcomes of children who are in an out-of-home placement or are at risk of out-of-home placement as a result of a parental substance use.  The One Roof Roadmap highlights the need for collaborative structures and service models when implementing child welfare and supportive housing partnerships. These successful partnerships in jurisdictions implementing supportive housing aligned with CSH’s Keeping Families Together approach, have laid the ground work for integration in these regional partnerships. This RPG funding opportunity provides a mechanism for cross sector teams to move utilize funding to advance collaborative work that will allow for improved outcomes for families impacted by parental substance abuse and child welfare involvement.

A supportive housing approach aligns with the RPG which focuses on addressing common systemic and practice challenges that are barriers to optimal family outcomes, including engagement of parents in substance use treatment; differences in system paradigms and training; conflicting timeframes across the systems; and service shortages in child welfare services and substance use treatment systems. This works allows for alignment of whole family focused services and approaches. Quality supportive housing is recognized by SAMHSA and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) as a best-practice for reducing chronic homelessness, which in turn leads to better outcomes for mental health and substance use disorders. Children receive the stability needed to reach their potential in school settings, parents receive the support needed to improve their own health and the health of their family, and ultimately, families are able to grow stronger together both during and after formal child welfare case involvement.

CSH began its supportive housing efforts for child welfare involved families through a small pilot program in New York City in 2007, which later blossomed into our signature program – Keeping Families Together (KFT).  The mix and intensity of KFT supportive housing services are tailored to the unique needs of each member of the family unit and address the trauma that many of these families have experienced. Utilizing a unique approach and collaborative service structure, supportive housing helps keep families together. Early successes with the initial KFT pilot led to the ACYF Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, with the RTC evaluation scheduled for formal release January 2019. ACF highlighted supportive housing as a promising practice for child welfare families in the ACYF-CB-IM-17-03 Information Memorandum on Efforts by child welfare agencies, local communities, and federal agencies to end family and youth homelessness. The US Interagency Council’s recently released “Home Together: The federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness” highlights the importance of supportive housing and includes a strategy to utilize opportunities in child welfare policy to expand resources for community-based preventive services to support stable housing outcomes for children and families involved with, or at risk of involvement with, the child welfare system.

Grant information: https://ami.grantsolutions.gov/HHS-2018-ACF-ACYF-CU-1382

Information related to prior RPG grants: https://www.cffutures.org/ncsacw/#rpg_projects

Please contact us at 1Roof@csh.org to discuss further how this opportunity aligns with One Roof goals and local efforts.

Housing First ASAP

Earlier this week, CSH facilitated a discussion panel at the 18th Annual Conference of the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP). The focus of the dialogue and interaction among participants was “Housing First for Individuals with Active Substance Use.”

Members of the panel included:

  • Pascale Leone, Associate Director, CSH (Moderator)
  • Suzanne L. Bissonette, Executive Director, Cazenovia Recovery Systems, Inc.
  • Gregory Fulgham, Housing Program Director, Cazenovia Recovery Systems, Inc.
  • Kelly D. Whitman, Vice President of Substance Use Disorder Services, BestSelf Behavioral Health
  • Tylica S. Pope (Tye) Program Director of Medicaid Redesign Team Permanent Housing and Recovery Connections Opioid Mobile Outreach programs, BestSelf Behavioral Health

Those who engaged with panel experts and other participants walked away with a better understanding of Housing First as well as the evidence-based techniques used to engage individuals with active substance use disorders around vital treatment services. They also learned about housing and health outcomes for those living in supportive housing where the Housing First approach has been embraced, and which metrics should be tracked to help define and gauge success.

Finally, CSH and panelists shared many first-hand experiences they have encountered in their work — specifically how they overcame the systematic challenges faced in New York when implementing Housing First in supportive housing for individuals struggling through substance use and looking for a viable path toward stability and recovery.

CSH outlined the key principles of Housing First in supportive housing as: being centered on consumer choice; placing emphasis on quick access to housing; offering robust services with assertive engagement; stressing that tenancy is not dependent on participation in services; ensuring units are targeted for the most vulnerable and disabled people; embracing a harm reduction approach, and; providing full leases and tenant protections.

Behavioral Health Partnering with Public Housing

On Wednesday, August 16, CSH Director of Health Systems Integration Marcella Maguire teamed up with Stancil Tootle, 1st Vice-President & Legislative Chairman of the National Federation of the Blind, to deliver a webinar focused on how behavioral health services providers can partner with public housing agencies (PHAs), housing owners and housing agents to assist tenants who want to quit smoking.

The webinar, sponsored by the National Council for Behavioral Health, was timely and popular because of recent changes in federal tobacco use policy.  

In November 2016, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that public housing will soon be required to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents. With this new ruling comes a wave of individuals and organizations looking for tobacco cessation resources, including those specifically addressing behavioral health conditions. And enactment of this HUD rule presents another unique opportunity for greater partnerships between services providers and the housing sector, including supportive housing. 

During this webinar, attendees were exposed to information enhancing their understanding of the new rule published by HUD.

Marcella and Stancil also presented three models that support tobacco cessation, and identified for participants financing trends and other mechanisms to support this work.

If you have an interest in the guidance shared by Marcella and Stancil but missed their presentation, you can access the full webinar discussion by clicking on: Watch the Recording.

To see the information offered during the webinar, please click on: View the Slides.

Our gratitude to the National Council for Behavioral Health for providing the recording and materials for those who missed the webinar or are interested in a refresher.

Thank you! You Helped Pass the 21st Century Cures Act

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Last month, CSH urged our supporters to help us move the 21st Century Cures Act forward; and you came through with flying colors.

Many of you contacted your members of the US Congress and asked them to vote YES. After receiving bipartisan and overwhelming support in the Senate and House, President Obama is scheduled to sign this bill on Tuesday, December 13!

The Act was voluminous and touched on a wide spectrum of topics. Nonetheless, there are several crucial policy areas important to advancing our work to help vulnerable individuals and families, such as:capitol bldg

  • Comprehensive Mental Health and Criminal Justice (MIOTCRA) provisions we worked on with the Council of State Governments and others that will make investments in mental health and problem-solving courts, diverting people with behavioral health issues and histories of homelessness away from jail.
  • Grants for funded community reentry services, substance use and mental health services for incarcerated individuals, and  training for law enforcement officials on safely resolving encounters with people experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Major substance use and mental health reforms (including additional parity provisions), and crucial investments to address the national opioid epidemic.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of this bill!

Thank you for helping CSH as we continue to shape important public policy that benefits those who need, deserve and are housed in supportive housing.

Expanding Opioid Treatment Options in Supportive Housing

HHS Works to Expand Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to Address Opioid Epidemic


On Tuesday, November 15, the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced additional steps to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders.

Starting February 2017, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants will be able to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication typically used to treat opioid use disorders. Once training requirements are met, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants can apply for a waiver to treat up to 30 patients.

Yesterday’s actions build on one of the three main priorities of HHS Secretary Burwell’s initiative to combat the opioid epidemic: increasing access to MAT for opioid use disorder and reflects public input on the issue.

Updates on training information and the waiver application will be available at

New CSH Harm Reduction Institute to Launch in Connecticut

Recognizing that harm reduction is a key element of supportive housing, CSH is launching a Harm Reduction Institute (HRI) for select supportive housing service providers in Connecticut through the generous support of Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).  Through six interactive training sessions, the HRI will build capacity among supportive housing providers (leadership, management and direct service staff) to successfully support persons with active substance use and other risky behaviors in maintaining housing stability and wellness.

The overall learning objectives for the HRI are to help participants understand: what harm reduction really is, the prevalence of active substance use and other risky behaviors, harm reduction through a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive lens, legal ramifications of HR interventions, and how to integrate and apply HR concepts and interventions into a recovery focused approach.

To bring the Harm Reduction Institute to your community, contact our Supportive Housing Training Center at training@csh.org.

September is National Recovery Month

national recoveryEvery September, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

SAMHSA is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance use and mental illness.

SAMHSA offers several resources on supportive housing and substance use and mental health recovery including the Permanent Supportive Housing Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) Kit, which outlines the essential components of supportive housing services and programs for people with mental illness.