Going from Housing Support to MSA Housing Assistance
updated February 24, 2022

To go from Housing Support to MSA Housing Assistance, take these three steps:

  1. Bring your team together
  2. Understand if you need to have Housing Support to stay where you live now, and
  3. Check your budget and see what benefits can help.

Step 1: Bring Your Team Together

Make sure that everybody who helps you understands your goals. These are some of the people who might be on your team:

  • Your landlord
  • Your Housing Support provider
  • Your ARMHS worker
  • Your targeted case manager
  • Your waiver case manager
  • Your county or tribal financial worker
  • Your family
  • Your friends
  • Your Housing Stabilization Services provider
  • Disability Hub MN

These people can help you understand your lease, apply for programs, prepare for your switch, and connect you with services that can help you live in the community.

Talk with your team about what you want and what you need for housing and for services. Work with them to make a plan to achieve your goals.

Here are some questions to discuss with your team before you switch from Housing Support to MSA Housing Assistance:

  • If I make this switch, will I have to move? Do I want to move?
  • What bills will I have to pay if I switch? How will I pay them? Who can help me make sure I pay them?
  • Do I get case management from my Housing Support provider? If so, who else can help me with those types of services?
  • Do I get meals in my current place? If so, how will I get meals or cook after I switch?
Use the Build a Housing Team activity in the HB101 Vault

HB101’s Vault lets you do activities that help you make your housing plan. With a free account, you can use the Build a Housing Team activity in the Vault's I Get to Decide path. It helps you figure out who should be on your Housing Team and how different people can help you with your plan.

Step 2: Understand If You Need to Have Housing Support to Stay Where You Live Now

Housing Support benefits help you pay for housing in certain approved locations. Before you switch from Housing Support to MSA Housing Assistance, you need to know if your current lease will let you make this switch and keep living in the same place.

This depends on where you live, your landlord, and your lease:

  • In some places, you may be able to switch to MSA Housing Assistance with no hassle.
  • In other places, a landlord may be able to work with you to change your lease. That way, you can keep living in the same place, even after changing benefits.
  • There may be places where you can only stay if you get Housing Support. In those cases, you may have to move to a new place. Examples:
    • Your lease might be in a provider’s name and cannot be put in your name.
    • You live in a site-based setting that only accepts Housing Support payments.

Check with your landlord about this, or look at your lease with people you trust to understand it.

Step 3: Check Your Budget and See What Benefits Can Help

Going from Housing Support to MSA Housing Assistance affects what benefits you get and how you spend money. Try the HB101 Vault’s Options for Paying for Your Own Place activity to get an idea of what this change might look like.

This interactive tool lets you put in info about the benefits you get now and how much you think rent might be if you moved into a new place. The activity then shows you how switching from Housing Support to MSA Housing Assistance might increase your income so that you can live in your new place. It will show you which new programs you might qualify for and how getting a part-time job could also help.

You can use Options for Paying for Your Own Place, with a free Vault account. The activity is in the Vault’s “My Budget” path. This path also has other activities that can help you:

  • Get a Benefits Lookup lets you ask authorized employees of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to check your records and send you a Benefits Lookup report. Your Benefits Lookup report tells you which benefits you are getting now, and how much.
  • My Full Budget is a more advanced activity that lets you enter more details about your income and expenses, so that you can get a more complete picture of how you get and spend money. We recommend you try Options for Paying for Your Own Place first.
Benefits that can help you live in a new place

When you stop getting Housing Support benefits, these are a few of the benefits that might help you:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI gives money each month to people with disabilities who have low income and low . If you get SSI and have Housing Support, most of your SSI is used to pay for your Housing Support expenses. If you move out of Housing Support, you have more control over how your SSI is spent.
  • Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA). MSA and MSA Housing Assistance are key benefits that will help you when you leave Housing Support. They can help with things like basic living expenses and rent. For help with an MSA application or getting MSA Housing Support, Chat with a Hub expert or, if you get Housing Stabilization Services, talk to your provider. Disability Benefits 101 has more info about MSA.
  • Housing Stabilization Services. If you get Medical Assistance (MA) benefits, but don’t get Housing Stabilization Services, contact your case manager or Chat with a Hub expert. Housing Stabilization Services can help you make sure that you’ve got a place to live and are getting the services you need.