New Low-Income Housing
- Albany 09/16/2013 (AP)

— New York plans to create low-income housing for 5,000 Medicaid recipients with significant health care needs.

The housing units are planned for Manhattan and the Bronx; Monroe, Broome and Erie counties; and in the Finger Lakes Region as well as in Long Island's Suffolk County.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the units will be built using savings from efficiencies that lowered costs of the government health care program Medicaid that serves the poor and disabled. The savings were identified by Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team that brought professionals from most areas of the health care industry.

The housing will provide a stable and healthier home environment for New Yorkers with severe health concerns and problems that don't require hospitalization.

The first phase will spent nearly $47 million to construct 12 new buildings over the next year to 18 months. That will provide 483 housing units which will come with nearly $30 million in rent subsidies. In all, more than 4,300 people will benefit from the housing.

"A critical component to improving the health of New Yorkers and containing health care costs is to ensure that an individual's housing needs are also met," said state Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah. "By increasing the availability of supportive housing for high-need Medicaid beneficiaries, we will be able to reduce Medicaid costs and improve the quality of care for these individuals."

A lack of safe, stable housing been shown to worsen the suffering of those with chronic illnesses and drive up taxpayers' costs of Medicaid, said Jason Helgerson, the state Medicaid Director.

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