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Reps. Barragán and Slotkin Introduce the Housing ACCESS Act to Strengthen Pathways to Housing


March 13, 2024

Contact: Kevin McGuire


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) introduced the Housing Alignment and Coordination of Critical and Effective Supportive Health Services (ACCESS) Act, legislation to address the intersecting crises of homelessness, mental health, and substance use disorder by increasing support for millions of low-income Americans on Medicaid. This bill has also been introduced in the Senate by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA).

“Our country has over 650,000 people who experience homelessness on a given night,” said Rep. Barragán. “Many of these individuals are chronically homeless, experience acute medical conditions, and need access to mental health and other medical treatment and housing. The Housing ACCESS Act breaks barriers to these services and strengthens collaboration between communities and all levels of government to ensure that households receive the resources they need.”

The Housing ACCESS Act would direct the Secretaries of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Treasury Department to issue joint guidance to state Medicaid agencies and housing providers on how to connect Medicaid beneficiaries to housing-related services. The bill also requires HHS to conduct a study on the national cost of housing-related services and support.

“A lack of affordable housing is an issue I constantly hear about from constituents and community leaders,” said Rep. Slotkin. “It’s an acute issue, from extremely limited attainable housing for first-time homebuyers to high rent that make it next to impossible for people to live and work in the same place. We need to focus on addressing this crisis head-on, and supporting federal efforts to connect individuals to housing services and help them secure housing is a step toward that goal.”

“Access to safe, stable, and affordable housing is a right and key to recovery for Americans struggling with chronic health conditions,” said Senator Markey. “Far too many families get trapped in a vicious cycle of housing insecurity paired with worsening health conditions. The Housing ACCESS Act empowers communities in every corner of our country to have critical resources that will help them tackle the intersecting healthcare and housing crisis—all while ensuring community health and housing-related providers make a living wage. Let’s cut the red tape and clear a path forward so that families can access affordable housing and supportive services.”

“Aligning housing assistance and supportive housing services doesn’t require new policies or new programs, but it does require Representative Barragan’s Housing ACCESS Act. Communities across the nation would benefit greatly from the Representative’s legislation: it will reduce not only the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness, but the significant cost burdens on health care, the criminal legal system, and other vital community resources. Reducing chronic homelessness helps people who need help the most. The Housing ACCESS Act would allow for much-needed alignment of resources among providers who serve people experiencing homelessness. Streamlining these partnerships is absolutely critical to addressing our current homelessness and affordable housing crisis,” said Ann Oliva, Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

“The Housing ACCESS Act offers hope for those navigating the intricate maze of public systems by strategically aligning Medicaid housing support services with federal housing resources,” said CSH President and CEO, Deborah De Santis. “This streamlined approach promises to untangle the complexities, facilitating seamless access to essential programs for those experiencing homelessness and cycles of institutionalization. With its clear vision, the Housing ACCESS Act optimizes existing resources and heralds a new era of efficiency, compassion, and progress in our commitment to fostering communities that enable all people to thrive and to live independently.”

The Housing Access Act is Cosponsored by Representatives Chu (CA-28), Balint (VT-At Large), Hayes (CT-05), Horsford (NV-04), Khanna (CA-17), Lee (CA-12), Lee (PA-12), Napolitano (CA-31), Porter (CA-47), Raskin (MD-08), Takano (CA-39), Thanedar (MI-13), Watson Coleman (NJ-12)

The Following Organizations have also endorsed the bill: Corporation for Supportive Housing, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, National Low Income Housing Coalition, ACTION-Housing Inc, Boston Health Care for the Homeless, Camden Coalition, Commonwealth Land Trust, Downtown Women’s Center, Harrisonburg RHA, Housing Action Illinois, Local Initiatives Support Corporation/National Equity Fund, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Lynn Shelter Association, Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance, PATH, Pathways to Housing PA, Piedmont Housing Alliance, The People Concern, Supportive Housing Providers Association, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Vocal Virginia.


Congressmember Nanette Barragán represents California’s 44th District.  She sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and works on environmental justice and healthcare issues.  She is also Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and Co-Chair of the Congressional Homelessness Caucus.