PHOENIX—The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has awarded a three-year contract to Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation (ABC) to administer its AHCCCS Housing Program (AHP) which consists of the permanent supportive housing and housing support programs for individuals with mental health issues who are experiencing homelessness. The contract period is October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2024.
“By choosing a single statewide housing administrator, AHCCCS is prioritizing efforts to standardize and improve housing practices, reduce barriers for members, increase accountability, and most importantly, improve the housing experience as a critical resource in addressing social risk factors, especially for those persons living with mental health issues and experiencing homelessness,” said Jami Snyder, director of AHCCCS.
ABC and its sub-contractor HOM, Inc., have over twenty years’ experience in providing housing administration and coordinating services through the behavioral health system for persons determined SMI and experiencing homelessness. As the AHP administrator, ABC will be responsible for management and administration of AHCCCS permanent supportive housing subsidies, including, establishing a referral process, waitlist management, verification of eligibility, member briefings, fair market rent determinations, housing quality standards inspections, legal compliance, subsidy payments to landlords and providers, member recertifications, eviction prevention, and housing reporting. ABC will provide these services statewide.
“ABC and HOM, Inc., are honored to partner with AHCCCS to achieve our collective goals in the AHCCCS Housing Program (AHP). Affordable, quality housing is the platform for achieving improved health and economic outcomes for individuals and families in our communities,” said Charles Sullivan, president and CEO of ABC. “Through the centralization and standardization of housing program administration, we will drive transparency, efficiency, and cost savings to expand housing options for AHCCCS members throughout Arizona.”
AHCCCS recognizes that housing, along with integrated wraparound services, is critical in addressing social risk factors that impact health outcomes. To address this need, the State Legislature allocates $28 million annually to provide housing for approximately 3,000 of its members throughout Arizona.
Tribal Regional Behavioral Health Authority (TRBHA) housing funds will continue to be administered by AHCCCS and managed by the TRBHAs. AHCCCS will also maintain administration and oversight of the SMI Housing Trust Fund to create additional permanent supportive housing units for persons with a serious mental illness (SMI) designation.