Medicaid Redesign Team - Using state medicaid dollars for supportive housing

Categories: New York State


In 2012, the Department of Health established MRT. This was the first time in the country, a state used Medicaid funding from the state’s Medicaid cap to fund supportive housing.  

In 2012, as part of the state’s comprehensive strategy to reduce costs and improve care of the state’s Medicaid program, the Department of Health established the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing Program.  This was the first time in the country, a state used Medicaid funding from the state’s Medicaid cap to fund supportive housing.  

NYS Department of Health (DOH) established a $75 million annual commitment to expand supportive housing for high cost/high need Medicaid recipients and the state Legislature adopted and funded the state’s first ever MRT Supportive Housing Program to provide service funding, rent subsidies and capital dollars to create supportive housing for high-cost Medicaid recipients.

Since its inception in 2012, the program has continued to grow with state general fund dollars from $75 million  in 2012 to $107 million today.  The financial support for this program comes solely from funding under the State’s Medicaid cap within DOH’s general fund budget. This funding has supported supportive housing capital programs, services and operating funding for both supportive and long term care programs, nine  pilot programs to support potential interventions to reduce Medicaid costs and tracking and evaluation programs.

To date, 53 congregate supportive housing projects with approximately 1,907 units of supportive housing have been funded with a portion of the resources coming from the MRT Supportive Housing Program. In each of these projects MRT funding constituted part of the projects’ overall funding, blending MRT funds with other state and/or local resources.

The MRT program also funds 3,117 scattered site supported housing units across the state for formerly homeless individuals struggling with either mental illness, substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, or other chronic medical conditions, or those who are transitioning from an institutional setting throughout New York State  Since 2012, over 12,000 individuals have been served.

Read profiles of the first two supportive housing projects created with MRT Supportive Housing Capital, Son House Apartments in Rochester and Creston Avenue Apartments in the Bronx.

Click here to see State Medicaid Director and leader of the MRT, former Medicaid Director, Jason Helgerson, discuss the program at our 2012 Annual Conference. 

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