WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after introducing the Expanding Service Coordinators Act, which would provide millions of dollars to improve the capacity and retention of our nation’s service coordinator workforce. Service coordinators connect individuals and families living in federally assisted housing to a wide range of social services, making them a critical element of these programs.
“Service coordinators are crucial to the success of federally assisted housing, but programs that fund the employment of service coordinators are currently strained. We desperately need federal funding to maintain and expand our country’s service coordinator workforce to connect marginalized communities to critical social services, such as meal programs, health care, transportation, case management, and job training. This bill will fill that need by providing millions of dollars over the next five years to two primary service coordinator programs – the Multifamily Housing Service Coordinator Program and the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Service Coordinator Program – and incentivizing the employment of service coordinators in new affordable housing projects across the country. Vulnerable members of our communities, including seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals and families, rely on federally assisted housing. The Expanding Service Coordinators Act would bolster our nation’s service coordinator workforce to elevate federally assisted housing in Washington’s Ninth and across the country.”
The Expanding Service Coordinators Act is endorsed by several organizations, including American Association of Service Coordinators, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Compass Housing Alliance, KMG Prestige, LifeSTEPS, National Affordable Housing Managers Association, New England Resident Service Coordinators Inc., United Church Homes, WinnCompanies, MJ Housing Services, New Hampshire Association of Professional Service Coordinators, Volunteers of America, HumanGood, National Church Residences, LeadingAge, Local Initiatives Support CorporationMassachusetts Association of Resident Service Coordinators in Housing, National NeighborWorks Association, SAGE, and National Center for Assisted Living.
See below for statements of support for the Expanding Service Coordinators Act.
“This historic federal funding bill prioritizes the needs of older adults, empowers families with the resources they need to become self-sufficient, and grows supportive affordable housing across the country – in short, it is everything that a bill from Congress should strive to do. Service Coordinators are essential to the health and safety of older adults by connecting them with vital resources and allowing them to age in their own communities. They provide families the tools they need to become and remain self-sufficient, reducing other costly taxpayer-funded programs. Finally, Service Coordinators are a crucial part of solving our nation’s affordable housing crisis – by helping break down the barriers so many face in trying to access the necessary services and supports that keep them safely and reliably housed. With this legislation and the leadership of Representative Smith, we are one step closer to changing the narrative and making a substantial difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans all across the country.” - Michelle Missler, President & CEO, American Association of Service Coordinators.
"The Seattle Housing Authority appreciates Representative Smith introducing this legislation to increase funding for support service coordinators. We are able to offer a limited amount of these types of services, but we are continuing to see an increasing need that is outstripping resources. Our experience shows that partnerships, personal connections and culturally appropriate services make a difference in whether our residents struggle or thrive, and additional funding would be a tremendous help.” - Rod Brandon, Executive Director, Seattle Housing Authority
“I fully support the Congressman’s efforts to support the supportive services needed to stably house households. Placing this value on Service Coordinators and supporting their education is an admirable step.” - April Black, Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority
“Affordable housing provides the necessary foundation for individuals and communities to thrive. And for many tenants living in subsidized low-income housing, extra support can make all the difference in taking that next step towards economic independence, improving one’s health, or maintaining their social wellbeing. Rep Smith’s legislation to expand service coordinators at federally-assisted housing sites would bring welcome resources to support some of our region’s lowest-income residents. It recognizes that we must make the connections between housing and other service streams in order to ensure residents have the connections, support, and resources to reach their goals. Service coordinators can play critical and varied roles as they work to support residents, including coordinating access to job training, health care, community activities, and social services. I thank Congressman Smith for his continued efforts to ensure there is robust and holistic funding available to support tenants living in federally-assisted housing.” - Robin Walls, Executive Director/CEO, King County Housing Authority
“Service coordinators in affordable housing communities for low income older adults help residents access vital services, from transportation to physician appointments, and provide critical help, such as assistance with Medicaid programs, which allows residents to live independently. Research shows that in communities with service coordinators, residents’ use of more expensive taxpayer-funded health care programs is reduced. Yet, despite service coordinators’ proven value, funding for these roles has, for too long, been meager. Mission-driven affordable senior housing providers, including thousands of LeadingAge members, are eager to increase service coordinators’ numbers across their affordable housing portfolio. LeadingAge is grateful for Representative Smith’s introduction of the Expanding Service Coordinators Act, which recognizes the need for and seeks the bold service coordinator expansion older adults deserve.” - Katie Smith Sloan, President & CEO, LeadingAge
“As a provider of supportive housing, Compass Housing Alliance has experience with the critical difference service coordinators make in helping our residents maintain their housing and improve their quality of life. We support this bill which recognizes the importance of these essential workers.” - Mary Steele, Executive Director, Compass Housing Alliance
“We currently have 36 service coordinators on our team, and they all make such a difference in our senior’s lives.  I know that service coordination allows our residents to live longer in place, thus saving tax dollars.  I whole heartedly support and thank you for your efforts to pass this incredibly important legislation.” - Paul Spencer, President, KMG Prestige
“As an agency that provides resident services to over $100,000 lives representing over 39,000 homes, we strongly support this expanding service coordinator legislation.  Not only do service coordinators save millions by providing much needing housing stabilization to the those in poverty they are a lifeline to saving billions in the healthcare costs as service coordination have clearly proven seniors can age in place with supports in order to maintain their dignity and prevent premature Skill Nursing Facility placement.” - Beth Southorn, Executive Director, LifeSTEPS
NAHMA commends Representative Smith for introducing legislation that will ensure millions of affordable housing residents have access to service coordinators and the essential role they provide as a linkage to supportive services and community resources.  This pandemic has elevated the critical need for service coordinators across the federally assisted portfolio, as they have been a vital resource for social connection, health and financial security, and community-based services navigation for older residents. We maintain that the mission of affordable housing is to be a platform to improve the lives of residents and communities. Service coordinators are on the frontlines of meeting our mission.” - Larry Keys, Director of Government Affairs, National Affordable Housing Managers Association
“New England Resident Service Coordinators Inc. (NERSC) supports the Expanding Service Coordinator Act, as it would make critical investments and expansions to the Service Coordinator Program.” - Andrea Dobras, Executive Director, New England Resident Service Coordinators Inc.
Service coordinators have a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of the residents living in affordable housing. This legislation takes the necessary steps to ensure that more residents have access to service coordinators and the exceptional supports and resource connections they can provide. The Expanding Service Coordinators Act would make critical investments and reforms to expand the service coordinator programs to serve more people in federally assisted housing.” - Terry Spitznagel, Senior Executive Vice President, United Church Homes
“HumanGood began employing resident service coordinators in our affordable housing communities in the 1990’s beginning with approximately 5 resident service coordinators.  With our continued growth, we now employ 70+ resident service coordinators in almost all of our 100+ communities in California, Washington, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  As an organization, we have come to know resident services as an invaluable component of property management. Our services team not only links our residents to supportive and medical services, but also provide case management to our most vulnerable population.  The program has evolved in the last fifteen years where the demands of the health and well being of our residents has grown substantially and we are striving to meet their needs so they can continue to age in place.  Necessary training on entitlement programs, dementia, mental health conditions, adult protective services, hospitalization and nursing home admission, mitigating isolation are some of the required trainings that enable our service coordinators to be equipped to empower residents to live independently and increase self-sufficiency.  Resident services provides a positive financial impact by reducing turnovers, evictions, property damage and helps address compliance issues.  We continue to find creative ways to expand our partnerships with county providers, educational institutions, health care providers to allow us to develop new approaches and resources to address our residents’ needs. Thank you for your commitment to resident services. HumanGood is proud to be a supporter of the Expanding Service Coordinators Act.” - Linda Coleman, VP of Resident Services, HumanGood

The Expanding Service Coordinators Act would make critical investments and reforms to expand the service coordinator programs to serve more people in federally assisted housing. Specifically, the bill would:
  • Authorize an additional $100 million each year for five years to the Multi-Family Housing Service Coordinator program.
  • Authorize a total $45 million each year for five years for the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency service coordinator program.
  • Establish a training set aside to improve capacity and retention of service coordinators.
  • Extend qualification for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to service coordinators.
  • Direct GAO to report on the availability and work of service coordinators in rural areas.
Service coordinators are an underfunded resource in federally assisted housing. They help individuals navigate the complicated web of social services that can make the difference between a resident sinking or thriving. It is more important now than ever to invest in this critical workforce.
A fact sheet of the bill can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.