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California’s Housing Crisis: Innovative Solutions for Medi-Cal Beneficiaries

September 2021
Full report

Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) can be partners with states in improving access to affordable and stable housing. For beneficiaries experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, MCOs may offer services extending beyond traditional healthcare that help to remove barriers to securing housing.

The availability of affordable housing is an ongoing challenge for many communities across the United States. In California, the affordable housing crisis has been particularly severe. The state’s homelessness rate is one of the highest in the country, and the number of Californians who are homeless represents more than a quarter of the national total. Recognizing the interconnectedness of health and stable housing, Elevance Health is engaged in many housing-related solutions for Medicaid beneficiaries in the 29 counties the plan serves.

This paper discusses the health plan’s success building strong local partnerships and engaging with providers and community organizations to improve access to housing and promote whole person health.


  • Scarcity of affordable housing in California
  • Influence of housing on other health-related social needs
  • Relationship between housing and mental health and substance use disorders
  • Enhancing health and wellbeing through housing supports

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