Wisconsin becomes first state to offer housing benefits through state child health insurance program

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Wisconsin is becoming the first state in the nation to provide housing benefits to low-income families through a children’s health insurance program.

The state’s Department of Health Services got approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide housing support to people with children who have low income and are currently homeless.

Support will include helping people find housing, fill out leases, and fund security deposits and moving expenses.

DHS leaders say having stable housing is the first step towards leading a healthier life.

“Helping folks find and keep a roof over their heads is an essential part of making sure that families with children living at home and pregnant women have a solid foundation for building a healthy future,” said Karen Timberlake, the secretary-designee of Wisconsin’s DHS.

The programs help get people into housing, but the program will not be helping people pay ongoing rent costs.