Georgia Supportive Housing Association Plan

It is a new year and a new legislative session is about to start. There will be lots of opportunites to talk about suportive housing.Attached in the basic document outlining an Action Plan for the state. There clearly needs to be a more aggressive housing agenda if the state is serious about Mental Health Reform; Criminal Justice Reform; and Health Care Reform. It is critical to all three reform efforts that service be delivered in the most efficient setting and for that to happen many people are going to need housing. Housing lowers the cost and improves the effectiveness of treatment.

Items of interest.
1. The state budget comes our next week but we know the DBHDD budget will have sufficient money to expand the number of subsidized units for the Settlement targeted population to 800 in FY 2013. The cost of this program by FY 2015 will be between $12 and $15 million dollars. Increasingly there are legislators who will want to know where there money is going so it is an opportunity to explain the value of supportive housing. More detail on the budget next week.
2. DCA is working on a supportive housing plan that will reshape many of its programs. The Consultant--The Technical Assistance Collaborative--will give the Department a report on their work on January 23 but a final product is not expected until March. We will let you know when that becomes public.
3. The Olmstead Planning process is getting new leadership from the newely appointed state Ombudsman, Corina Magelund.They met this week and showed interest in planning for all persons with disabilities. Housing was a hot topic of the conversation and commissioners of key departments were present.They seem to be interested in working on a housing plan that cuts accross the needs of all persons with disabilities.
 
Usual Advice: 
1.  Ask legislators how the state is coming with its effort to meet the Settlement housing goal of serving 9,000 persons by FY 2015.
2. Ask them if there is a plan.
3. Invite them to see supportive housing in their part of the state.
4. Show them data that illustrates the cost effectiveness of supportive housing. (send me what you use)
Let us know who is responsive to the issue. It just takes a committed few to make a difference.

 

 

Georgia Supportive Housing Association

 State Action Plan – 9000 by 2015

 

  • Services
  • Expand Medicaid funding of services for persons living in supportive housing so that providers can commit those services to developers of the housing.
  • Amend the state Medicaid Plan to include many of the changes planned for the 1915i amendment.
  • Develop a “medical home” application that includes the use of supportive housing.
  • Where caseloads warrant, require service agencies to establish on-site offices and services
  • Require supportive housing property managers to complete Mental Health First Aid training.
  • Coordinate project “service” requirements between DBHDD and DCA.
  • State support for transitional housing for persons recovering from addictive disease.   

 

  • Capital
    • Require every Low Income Housing Tax Credit project to have a minimum of 10% supported housing. Follow the lead of North Carolina.
    • Commit 50% of federal HOME funds to the Permanent Supported Housing Program. Educate local governments on the use of their HOME dollars for this purpose.
    • Commit other federal capital like NSP and CDBG to supported housing.

 

  • Rent Subsidy
    • 100% of  any new or returned Section 8 subsidies need to be committed to expanded supported housing capacity
    • The state needs to implement the new amendments to the 811 program to add subsidies to tax credit projects.
    • Identify and create agreements to use up to 20% of the remaining 100% Section 8 projects for supported housing.
    • Continue the annual expansion of the DBHDD Housing Support program begun in FY 2011.
    • Continue to expand the use of Shelter Plus Care and HOPWA to serve the targeted population. Commit DBHDD services to these projects.
    • Meet local housing authority service needs in return for a commitment of housing subsidy.

 

  • Regional Housing Facilitators

Projects are developed at the local level. Full time housing facilitators in each regional office of the DBHDD will bring public and private resources into projects at the ground level and help persons with disabilities find housing. DBHDD needs to coordinate services for local housing projects and with local housing authorities.

 

  • Planning and Goal Setting.

 How many people are there in the Settlement’s targeted population? The state needs a careful study of the data from 1. Homeless Counts; 2.  Local Jails; 3. State Corrections; 4. CSB’s ; 5. Medicaid and state service data. This will help to establish the need for supportive housing and become the basis for expanding supportive housing capacity.

  • Adopt a 5 and 10 year plan for the expansion of Supported Housing
  • Report progress on the plan to the Governor and the General Assembly each year.

 

For Information: Paul Bolster, executive director bolsterp@bellsouth.net,

404-664-0059 www.supportivehousingassociation.com

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