Supportive Housing as Healthcare

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Health, The Brook, Mott Haven, South Bronx, Rx in the Bx, healthcare The Brook supportive housing in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx. (Natalie Fertig/WNYC)

As part of WNYC's series exploring health and healthcare in The Bronx, which was recently named the least healthy county in New York State, WNYC reporter Amanda Aronczyk explores whether housing should be considered healthcare. New York State thinks so, and is funding "supportive housing" through the state's Medicaid program. Brenda Rosen, executive director of Common Ground, joins the conversation to discuss Common Ground's role in developing "supportive housing."


Amanda Aronczyk and Brenda Rosen

Comments [8]

Ben from Brooklyn

I find myself arguing against my own politics on this one.

As a Liberal, I am certain we can make a case that housing is vital to the health of the patient. Likewise, I bet I could figure out a way to do the calculation that would demonstrate that we would save money by providing subsidized housing with supports.

But I can also read the paper -- The NY Times has run many a series showing the vast amount of bloat in Medicaid and Medicare in New York State. There is just unapologetic fraud and abuse.

So please start this new "housing subsidy" under a NEW organization or gov't department and appoint five watchdogs to fight the agency every step, making certain it really is saving money and spending well. Because if we continue to have physical therapists in Brooklyn billing Medicare for a hundred visits per week, while all the while they live in Florida and earn $100,000 on fake charges, if we still have people performing eye surgery on blind octogenarians with dementia against their will, then IT IS NOT TIME to start a new large scale program under Medicare, however worthy it may be.

Jun. 04 2014 12:22 PM
Dick Hubert from Rye Brook, NY

Brian, I am not sure that either you or your staff understands that Medicaid in New York State is paid for by taxing property owners..ALL property owners. As an owner of a small condo in Westchester I can attest that these Medicaid contributions come through our County property taxes. And our County Executive has no choice but to collect them. Republicans AND Democrats in Westchester County have begged for this to end, but to zero response from either Governor Cuomo or the Democrats in the state legislature, because they don't want to include it in their budget. Is there anyone on your staff who owns any property outside of New York New York State? They should have spotted this long ago for you. To learn today that our Medicaid dollars are going into housing - a direction even the Federal government will not allow with Federal dollars, is stunning and dispiriting. You want to know why New Yorkrers are leaving for other states? THIS is but one example.

Jun. 04 2014 11:54 AM
Lee from Astoria

Having worked in issues around people who have become homeless for many years I am happy to hear about this innovative. I see this as a health care issue and thing housing first is the way to go.

Also, I wonder if any of these housing projects are incorporating urban farming/gardening. The positive therapeutic effects of growing food can be pretty amazing.

Jun. 04 2014 11:54 AM
The Truth from Becky

We need to shed the "Let'em Eat Cake" attitude. You could be next.

Jun. 04 2014 11:50 AM
Amy Braunstein from New Brunswick, NJ

It is a stain on our national character the way we treat the homeless. We leave the weakest among us to die in the street and everyone walks right by them. Housing programs like this are long over due. The added fact that we would save tax dollars by doing this and people don't want to because they want to punish the homeless for not working hard, its just so wrongheaded and callous.... smdh

Jun. 04 2014 11:42 AM
Joyce from NYC

Nope, no honesty.
"Housing is essential to the health of the patient." Duhhhh. And food, isn't food essential essential essential??? So the government should provide our food. Opps -- food stamps. And the news. Isn't the news essential? WE NEED GOVERNMENT PROVIDED NEWS. Opps -- the FCC will be putting FEDERAL monitors in all newsrooms. Got that one taken care of!

And all of this is GOING TO SAVE MONEY!!!! By now we should be saving so much money, the government should be running for free!

Jun. 04 2014 11:42 AM
Mick from NYC

Conservatives often speak of the "moral hazard" of government help of any kind for low-income individuals, frequently seeing it as creeping socialism. (perhaps they fear socialism creeping down the income/wealth hierarchy from tax subsidies for millionaires and the corporations they own.) Also, bureaucracies are notorious (sometimes with good reason) for protecting their turf and budgets. Do the guests see these kinds of factors involved with these problems?

Jun. 04 2014 11:38 AM
Joyce from NYC

Can we have some honesty. Say it, SOCIALISM.

Now, here is where the honesty might help -

- first an HONEST statement of the policy proposal
- second, and HONEST evaluation of what ALL of the consequences might be

Jun. 04 2014 11:26 AM

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