Elderly Minnesota residents at risk of being placed in a nursing home who are ineligible for Medicaid supports can look to the Housing Support program, previously known as the Group Residential Housing (GRH) program, as an option for financial assistance. The Minnesota Department of Human Services has established relationships with approximately 6,000 group residences throughout the state. While the majority are adult foster care homes, these residences also include assisted living and supervised senior living communities. Those who wish to remain living in their homes are also eligible for this program.
Unusual in the world of elder care programs, the Housing Support program pays for the cost of room and board. Payments are made directly to the group residences. Program participants do not receive financial assistance.
It should be emphasized that the Housing Support program covers the cost of room and board, but not care services in the home or group residences. However, in some cases, there is a special allowance that pays for care for certain qualified participants at some residences. This allowance is referred to as Supplemental Services.
In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following requirements.
Residents who receive General Assistance or Supplemental Security Income automatically qualify financially.
The following income and asset limits apply to those not receiving GA or SSI:
Income LimitsA participant’s income must be below the most that the Housing Support program will pay for the cost of room and board and the services needed by the individual, combined. Currently, in 2023, the most Housing Support will pay for room and board is $1,135 a month, and $482.84 a month for services. However, if a participant already has their services covered by a Medicaid Waiver, then income is limited to the cost of room and board only. Therefore, income is limited to $1,135-$1,617.84 a month.
However, being over the income limit is not automatic cause for disqualification. If the applicant has recurring medical costs, those expenses can be deducted from their monthly income. Should a spouse continue to live independently, a certain amount of joint income can be allocated toward their cost of living, which can further reduce the applicant’s countable income. For final income eligibility determination, applicants should contact the program’s administrators.
The dollar amount of the Housing Support program changes from year to year. As of July 2023, the Housing Support program will pay for room and board (rent, utilities, household supplies, and food) at licensed adult foster care homes and assisted living communities up to a monthly maximum of $1,135.
This program will also pay for additional support services, up to $482.84 a month in 2023, which can include the following: