DHS works to ensure that appropriate housing is available for the people we serve by supporting systems that integrates housing, services and income supports to enable people to live in the community of their choice.
Programs offering services are encouraged to use Housing Benefits 101. It provides individuals and their families, county staff and housing and service providers information to address the unique needs of older adults, people with disabilities and the homeless. Use it to explore housing goals, learn about housing options and services, create plans to reach goals and more.
As directed by the 2017 legislature, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is applying to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to add Housing Stabilization Services to Minnesota’s Medicaid plan. The services are designed to help people with disabilities and seniors find and keep housing in the community.
The target population for Housing Stabilization services are:
People with disabilities, including mental illness, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
People with disabilities, including mental illness, who are living in institutions or other segregated settings, or are at risk of living in those settings.
Adults who are 65 years of age or older who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The Housing Support program (formerly known as Group Residential Housing) is a state-funded income supplement that pays up to $893 per month for housing and food costs in approved locations for seniors and adults with disabilities who have low incomes. The program aims to reduce and prevent people from living in institutions or becoming homeless. Housing Support may also help pay for additional services, including, but not limited to: medication reminders, assistance with transportation, arranging meetings and appointments, and arranging for medical and social services. Please visit the Housing Support program page for more information. Information for providers about rates for these programs is available on the Housing Support payment rates page.
Long-term services and supports refers to on-going support that an individual, youth, or families with children need to maintain housing stability and live in the community of their choice. DHS administers grants to fund seven regional partnerships/collaboratives that integrate housing and the support services needed to maintain long-term housing.
Each collaborative also maximizes the use of other funding resources in order to help as many people who have been long-term homeless. People with the greatest barriers to obtaining and maintaining stable housing are helped first. DHS believes that stable housing is the basis from which positive health, social, educational, family and other outcomes are achieved. Please visit the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency: Homelessness Prevention and Programs website for additional information on homeless prevention housing programs such as “Bridges” and the “Ending Long-Term Homelessness Initiative.”
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are federal disability benefits that provide income to people who cannot keep a job because of a disability. Benefits can be a critical step toward ending homelessness and promoting recovery. Applying for or maintaining Federal Social Security disability benefits can be hard. Social Security Advocacy and SOAR can help you navigate the system. There is no charge for this service. For a list of agencies that specialize in helping people apply for SSI and SSDI benefits, check out the Social Security Advocacy Directory.
General Assistance (GA) helps Minnesotans with little or no income meet their basic needs. It offers a small monthly cash grant to those with a serious illness, disabilities or other issues that limit their ability to work. GA is a temporary aid to help while other sources of income are put in place. The typical monthly GA benefit is $203 for an individual and $260 for a couple, but may be less if a person has other income from work, benefits or any other source. A related program, Emergency General Assistance (EGA), provides once a year financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter or utility expenses in emergencies. Applicants must apply for GA and EGA through their county human service agency. Please visit the General Assistance program page for more information.
Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) is an income supplement for people who receive federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or who would be receiving SSI if their income was not above the SSI limit. The typical monthly MSA benefit is $81 for an individual and $111 for a couple. For qualifying people with high housing costs, MSA Housing Assistance adds $194 to the monthly MSA benefit. Other MSA special need benefits are also available. Applicants must apply for MSA through their county human service agency. Please visit the Minnesota Supplemental Aid program page for more information.
MSA Housing Assistance provides help for housing costs for some people with disabilities who pay more than 40 percent of their income toward housing costs so that they have a choice about where they live. Find more information about the program, including eligibility rules, benefits and the application process, on MSA Housing Assistance page of the People we Serve section of the department's website.
Provides for operating costs, essential services, and prevention activities to shelters, transitional housing programs and emergency service providers. Fund are awarded to local agencies through a competitive application process on a biennial basis and are managed by the Office of Economic Opportunity.
Serves homeless individuals and families who lack a regular and adequate nighttime residence, by providing funds for shelter and support services, including medical, psychological, employment services and child care.