HUD releases first evaluation of supportive services demonstration

December 09, 2020 | by Juliana Bilowich

HUD’s research arm released the first interim Report from the IWISH demonstration program.

On November 27th, HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research postd a new report, titled “Supporting Aging in Place Through IWISH: First Interim Report from the Supportive Services Demonstration." The report discusses HUD’s Integrated Wellness in Supportive Housing (IWISH) demonstration program, which funds a full-time Resident Wellness Director and part-time Wellness Nurse to work in HUD-assisted housing communities serving older adults.
Through the demonstration, the Wellness Director and Nurse proactively engage with residents and implement strategies for coordinating services to help meet residents’ needs. The 3-year demonstration was launched in 2017 and is being implemented in HUD-assisted multifamily properties in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and South Carolina, including by LeadingAge housing provider members.
As the first of three demonstration reports planned by the agency, the report describes the baseline characteristics of the residents at demonstration properties; it also describes the first 18 months of IWISH implementation. Specifically, the evaluation compares housing stability and healthcare utilization of residents living in 40 properties that implement IWISH with outcomes for residents living in 84 similar properties that do not implement IWISH.
The demonstration aims to determine whether a well-funded, planned model of supportive services coordination in HUD-assisted senior housing provides compelling benefits, which LeadingAge strongly supports. The report was originally published in 2019; Alisha Sanders, Director of Housing and Services Policy Research, LeadingAge, was acknowledged in the report for her work on the IWISH implementation team.