Wisconsin Receives Federal Approval to Implement Housing Benefits

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide housing support for low-income Wisconsin families in need. Those who are eligible include families with children 18 and younger and individuals who are pregnant who have low income (below 200% of the federal poverty level) and do not have housing. Wisconsin is the first state to implement this type of housing benefit through a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Health Services Initiative (HSI). The HSI option allows states to use a portion of CHIP funding to implement initiatives that improve the health of vulnerable children.

“We are very excited to be able to provide housing support to Wisconsin families in need,” said DHS Secretary-Designee Karen Timberlake. “Research shows that stable housing is a crucial factor in health, and that health in childhood sets the foundation for positive life-long outcomes. Connecting families with supportive housing services not only helps them right now, but is a proactive measure that can build a better future for Wisconsin children.”

Those eligible will be able to access the following supportive housing services:

  • Housing consultations that will prepare families by developing a housing support plan
  • Transition supports that help families prepare for and make the move to new housing
  • Relocation supports that provide financial support to help families move from temporary living spaces to their own housing
  • Sustaining supports that assist families with keeping their housing, after they move

DHS will select homeless assistance providers to deliver the supportive housing services to eligible families. This includes one provider each in Dane, Milwaukee, and Racine counties, and five providers to serve the remainder of the state. Homeless assistance providers can apply through a request for applications that will be available on the DHS housing support services webpage in November.

To learn more about housing supports, visit the DHS website.