DHS works to ensure that appropriate housing is available for the people we serve by supporting systems that integrates housing, services and income supports to enable people to live in the community of their choice.
Programs offering services are encouraged to use Housing Benefits 101
Housing Benefits 101 provides individuals and their families, county staff and housing and service providers information to address the unique needs of older adults, people with disabilities and the homeless.
General Assistance (GA) helps Minnesotans with little or no income meet their basic needs. It offers a small monthly cash grant to those with a serious illness, disabilities or other issues that limit their ability to work. GA is a temporary aid to help while other sources of income are put in place. The typical monthly GA benefit is $203 for an individual and $260 for a couple, but may be less if a person has other income from work, benefits or any other source. A related program, Emergency General Assistance (EGA), provides once a year financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter or utility expenses in emergencies. Applicants must apply for GA and EGA through their county human service agency. Please visit the General Assistance program page for more information.
Group Residential Housing
The Group Residential Housing (GRH) program is a state-funded income supplement that pays up to $891 per month for housing and food costs in approved locations for people with low income and low assets who have disabilities or other conditions. People who either get GA or SSI automatically meet the income and asset limits. GRH may also help pay for additional services when a recipient is not eligible for personal care assistance services through Medical Assistance (MA) or MA-Waiver programs. GRH payments are made directly to the housing provider. Please visit the Group Residential Housing program page for more information. Information for providers about rates for these programs is available on the GRH payment rates page.
Long-term services and supports refers to on-going support that an individual, youth, or families with children need to maintain housing stability and live in the community of their choice. DHS administers grants to fund seven regional partnerships/collaboratives that integrate housing and the support services needed to maintain long-term housing.
Each collaborative also maximizes the use of other funding resources in order to help as many people who have been long-term homeless. People with the greatest barriers to obtaining and maintaining stable housing are helped first. DHS believes that stable housing is the basis from which positive health, social, educational, family and other outcomes are achieved. Please visit the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency: Homelessness Prevention and Programs website for additional information on homeless prevention housing programs such as “Bridges” and the “Ending Long-Term Homelessness Initiative.”
Minnesota Supplemental Aid
Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) is an income supplement for people who receive federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or who would be receiving SSI if their income was not above the SSI limit. The typical monthly MSA benefit is $81 for an individual and $111 for a couple. For qualifying people with high housing costs, MSA Housing Assistance adds $194 to the monthly MSA benefit. Other MSA special need benefits are also available. Applicants must apply for MSA through their county human service agency. Please visit the Minnesota Supplemental Aid program page for more information.
Section 811 Project Based Rental Assistance Program
Housing and Support Services manages the waiting list for the HUD Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance Program, which offers subsidized rental units in designated properties for persons under 62 who are enrolled in Moving Home Minnesota or who are experiencing long-term homelessness and serious mental illness and are receiving PATH services. For more information, email DHS.811Application@state.mn.us.
Social Security Benefits Advocacy and SOAR
SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are federal benefits that provide extra income to people who cannot keep a job because of a disability. Advocacy services to help people apply for federal benefits are available. Social Security Benefits (SSB) Advocacy helps people who are on state public assistance programs apply for SSI/SSDI benefits. The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program helps people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless and have a disability that is expected to last 12 months or more apply for SSI/SSDI benefits. For a list of agencies that specialize in helping people apply for SSI and SSDI benefits, check out the Social Security Benefits Advocacy Directory (PDF).
Social Security Benefits Advocacy Provider Payment System
The Social Security Benefits Advocacy (SSBA) Provider Payment System assists DHS contracted providers of Social Security Benefits advocacy and SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) in the collection, submission and payment of their SSBA services. For more information, email DHS.SSAadvocacy@state.mn.us.