Assisted Living at Housing with Services Establishments
updated April 14, 2021

Many seniors and people with disabilities live in housing that is described as including “assisted living” or being an “assisted living facility.” Any place that says it offers assisted living must be registered by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) as a Housing with Services establishment.

Note: Starting August 1, 2021, Housing with Services establishments will be licensed under new rules as either Assisted Living or Assisted Living with Dementia Care. There will be lots of changes, including new consumer protections to help you as a resident. This article shows the current rules, with some notes about the coming changes.

Housing with Services establishments

Housing with Services establishments include many types of housing for seniors and people with disabilities. Housing with Services establishments can be individual apartments where you get services or can be more like group homes, such as Board and Lodge or Housing Support (formerly Group Residential Housing). You won’t usually see places with the words “Housing with Services” in their names; that’s just the name of the state registration.

Each Housing with Services establishment offers a different set of services. Some offer minimal services, such as one meal per day or weekly housekeeping, while others may have 24-hour assistance on-site to help with things like dressing, bathing, and toileting. All Housing with Services establishments have to have a full description of the services they offer and detailed information about how much their rent and services cost. You can ask any establishment for this information.

Note: Starting August 1, 2021, under the new Assisted Living license, facilities will have to follow a uniform disclosure that lists all their services and costs. They will also be required to complete an assessment of your needs before you move in.

What It Is

While all Housing with Services establishments include some services, Housing with Services establishments that are described as having assisted living must have a staff person awake and available at all times to help residents.

These establishments may offer services that help with your daily living, such as:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Help taking medications, and
  • Personal care assistance services, like help during meals, toileting, bathing, and dressing.

Note: Starting August 1, 2021, these rules will change. Assisted living facilities will have to offer a lot more than the services in the above list. Example: They will have to offer a daily “I’m okay” check.

Similar services in your home

You can get services in your own home that are similar to the assisted living services at Housing with Services establishments. For example, you can get help with cooking, cleaning, bathing, and more. One way to learn what services or programs might help you with your needs is to contact your local county or tribal human services office and request a MnCHOICES assessment.

You can request a MnCHOICES assessment, even if you think you don’t qualify for public benefits. Within 20 days, the county must send an assesor to help review your situation and see which long-term care programs or services might help you. If you might qualify for public benefits, the county will help you fill out the application forms.

How You Pay

You pay a monthly amount that includes your room, board, and services. Many people pay with money they have in savings or income. If you qualify for Medical Assistance (MA), you may be able to get help paying for services through the Elderly Waiver (EW) program, Brain Injury (BI) waiver program, or Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) waiver program. Waivers use the term "customized living" to refer to services paid for in assisted living.

You may qualify for Housing Support (formerly Group Residential Housing) benefits that help pay for your room, board, and sometimes services in Housing-Support-approved locations, including some Housing with Services establishments.

Get Help

In Minnesota, before you move into a registered Housing with Services establishment, you must call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 and discuss your needs with a specialist. The specialist will make sure you have looked at options and the move is the right one for you.

You can also Chat with a Hub expert to learn more.

To find a Housing with Services establishment that offers assisted living, see Minnesota’s Senior Housing Directory and the Twin Cities Senior Housing Guide.