MHSA Housing & Special Needs Program

General Information

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Housing Program was jointly launched by the former California Department Mental Health (State DMH) and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) in August 2007 to support capital development and capitalized operating subsidies of supportive housing for individuals with serious mental illness and their families who are homeless. Beginning in June 2008 and ending in May 31, 2016, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) made commitments of $112 million for 37 housing developments resulting in 839 units of housing ranging from studios up to three and four bedroom units. See list of housing developments funded under the MHSA Housing Program.

The MHSA Special Needs Housing Program (SNHP) was initiated on June 24, 2016 after the MHSA Housing Program ended in May 2016. SNHP is a loan product that was developed by California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), at the request of a number of counties, in collaboration with the California Behavioral Health Directors Association. The SNHP built upon the highly successful MHSA Housing Program. It allows counties to assign MHSA or other local funds to CalHFA for the development of new permanent supportive housing. Unallocated funds, interest and loan repayments from the MHSA Housing Program can be transferred to the SNHP.

CalHFA administers the SNHP on behalf of the participating counties by providing loan underwriting, construction monitoring, and asset management services. Under this program, like the MHSA Housing Program, DMH will offer capital development funding and Capitalized Operating Subsidy Reserves (COSR) for the development of new permanent supportive housing targeting individuals with a mental illness and their families, who are homeless or chronically homeless. DMH made local funding commitments for nine additional housing developments that did not complete the application prior to May 31, 2016. These nine developments were transferred to the SNHP in order to complete the application process. However, one of the nine rescinded its commitment that left 45 housing developments with MHSA funding.

With the October 2016 release of the Expression of Interest, a notice of funding availability, DMH committed funding to eight additional housing developments accumulating into 53 MHSA funded housing developments under the SNHP. See list of housing developments funded under the SNHP.

Additional information regarding the MHSA Housing Program and the SNHP is available on CalHFA website at

For more information, contact Housing Policy and Development Unit at