Eight states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate in a new federal initiative to help strengthen partnerships across the housing, disability, aging, and health sectors.

The Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator aims “to unlock critical resources to reduce homelessness by addressing health-related social needs, such as housing-related services," according to officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The new program will provide technical assistance to states implementing HHS’ recently issued guidance regarding clinically appropriate and evidence-based services that can be covered under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. For example, states can support health care access through Medicaid Section 1115 demonstrations that provide services like housing transition services and case management that help people avoid lease violation. In addition, states can provide services that connect people to HUD housing programs by covering short-term housing costs, like security deposits and rental application fees, for specific transitions.

Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington were named to take part in the program from 15 applicants.

Synopses of each state’s areas of focus and goals under the Accelerator can be found here.

Over the next 12 months, HHS and HUD will provide the states and Washington, D.C., with technical assistance and opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange to implement housing-related services under their Medicaid program for people with complex health needs experiencing or at risk of homelessness.