Boise’s new supportive housing plan seeks a more stable price

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The Our Path Home plan aims to move the city of Boise and other partners away from a “project by project” approach to supportive housing.

BOISE, Idaho – A new supportive housing investment fund is one of four recommendations in the five-year supportive housing plan released Thursday by the Our Path Home partnership.

The Town of Boise is the lead agency in Our way home, which takes a “housing first” approach to tackling homelessness. The city set a five-year goal in September of creating 750 new supportive housing units, which would include case management, counseling, medical care, drug treatment and other services, depending on the specific program. .

New Path Community Housing, with 41 apartment units, and Valor Pointe, with 27 apartment units, are two supportive housing programs currently operating in Boise. Point Value is specifically for veterans who have experienced homelessness.

Ada County Commissioners recently voted to withdraw county funding for New Path for fiscal year 2022, which began on October 1. Instead, the county is directing its funds towards a new program that would provide services for people with disabilities, mental health services and addiction treatment, but not housing.

Without funding from Ada County, Our Path Home is still moving forward on its “Housing First” model with funds from other entities, including public funds from the City of Boise and the federal government.

“The New Path Supportive Housing Project in Boise is based on annual funding commitments from services, historically from Ada County and philanthropic partners. This funding model has proven to be risky in that it is viewed as a discretionary expenditure and exposes funding to political whims, funding partner priorities and annual budget cuts, ”says Our Path Home in the section on policies of the new plan.

Statement of purpose and objectives in the introduction to Our Path Home’s five-year plan released on Thursday says that the main objectives of the plan “are to identify the need for housing units with support services (how many are needed and for which populations), to establish a set of objectives for the creation of housing units on a five-year period and define implementation priorities.

“At the heart of the project is the goal of aligning funding sources to create a ‘pipeline’ of new supportive housing projects, coordinate resources and share goals.

The statement adds that the plan will move Our Path Home and its partners from the current “project-by-project approach to transformational change planning for supportive housing.”

The needs analysis included in the plan indicates that Ada County needs 517 new supportive housing units – thanks to new rental assistance strategies for new construction and “scattered rentals” – and estimates a total cost of approximately $ 67 million for these units.

The recommendations include the following four points:

  • Establish a Supportive Housing Investment Fund that will be used to address funding gaps for ongoing supportive housing.
  • Advocacy path and timeline for Medicaid policy change to support the long-term sustainability of the ongoing supportive housing pipeline, which is linked to ensuring more continuous services funded by Medicaid.
  • Continued partnership with Boise City-Ada County housing authorities on formalizing a rental assistance voucher commitment to assist 200-250 households for new housing units with ongoing support services.
  • Establish a permanent supportive housing subcommittee to take ownership of the implementation of the permanent supportive housing pipeline. The team will be responsible for overseeing the entire pipeline to achieve goals and manage individual projects.

In addition to the City of Boise, partners who worked on the Our Path Home ongoing supportive housing plan include Boise City / Ada County Housing Authority, CATCH, Idaho Housing and Finance Association, The Pacific Companies, Terry Reilly Health Services, Idaho Department of Health and St. Luke’s Wellness and Health System.

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