MHSA, in partnership with the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (UWMB), has released a report today demonstrating the success of the Pay for Success (PFS) program, which successfully housed 1,055 tenants. MHSA, CSH, and UWMB together make up the Massachusetts Alliance for Supportive Housing (MASH), and the MASH Pay for Success (PFS) program is the first-in-the-nation social innovation financing initiative to address long-term homelessness. It leverages seed capital from philanthropists and private investors coupled with public resources, which include a special state allocation of 145 low-threshold rental assistance vouchers and MassHealth tenancy supports, to offer permanent affordable housing and essential services in collaboration with a statewide network of housing and service providers. MASH administers the PFS program by collecting data, reporting on program outcomes, assisting providers, and advocating for continued investment in permanent supportive housing. MASH works with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to blend public and private resources to achieve success.
Individuals in the MASH PFS initiative are high utilizers of costly emergency services who have experienced chronic or long-term homelessness and have complex medical conditions. MASH PFS focused on providing permanent, low-threshold supportive housing through a network of 18 homeless service providers located across the Commonwealth for those who would otherwise rely on expensive emergency resources.
MASH PFS began in 2015 with the goal to house 500 to 800 individuals. The key successes of the MASH PFS program include:
- 1,055 individuals housed, with 85% of tenants still in housing or with a “positive exit” to other permanent housing or more appropriate care.
- $5,267 average savings in health care costs per tenant per year with a significant shift from emergency and acute care to outpatient care, according to a December 2020 study by Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts
- Medicaid coverage has expanded to cover tenant support services for individuals with a history of chronic homelessness to help them obtain and maintain permanent housing.