A National Church Residences (NCR) model combining assisted living with services for low-income seniors saves the state of Ohio $73.08 per person per day in Medicaid costs over living in a nursing facility, reveals a new study.

A leading affordable housing developer, NCR has been piloting a new model in the state by using multiple funding sources to create an “assisted-living level of housing that also includes on-site health-care services.”

Using a grant from The Kresge Foundation, the nonprofit organization looked at the costs of housing individuals in its communities compared with traditional nursing homes.

The results provide a road map for reducing Medicaid costs while improving health outcomes, said Michelle Norris, NCR senior vice president and chief development officer.

“About 20 percent of the people in skilled nursing facilities could live in affordable seniors housing, yet almost all of Ohio’s assisted-living facilities are private-pay and do not accept Medicaid-eligible residents,” she said.

NCR explains that Ohio’s Assisted Living Waiver pays for the costs of care in an assisted facility for certain people with Medicaid, allowing individuals to use their resources to cover “room and board” expenses. This has allowed for the diversion of more than 90 low-income individuals from nursing homes into other housing.

While the state waiver provides funding for the services, Department of Housing and Urban Development dollars were used to fund structural and accessibility changes to the facilities in order to serve the waiver recipients.

The study proposes two new funding models that could access Medicaid funds for affordable housing development. The first option, developed by the National Affordable Housing Trust, uses the low-income housing tax credit in combination with a federal waiver to allow Medicaid reimbursement for capital.

The second, developed by Recap Real Estate Advisors, employs a "social impact bond” as an innovative financial approach in which a multi-stakeholder partnership of philanthropic funds and impact investors, rather than government, take on the financial risk.

For more information, visitwww.nationalchurchresidences.org.