HUD No. 13-02
Joseph J. Phillips (678) 732-2943
HHS Press Office (202) 690-6343
February 15, 2013
HUD AND HHS TEAM UP TO PROVIDE PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING TO EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN GEORGIA
Over $4 million in rental assistance to prevent homelessness or unnecessary institutionalization
ATLANTA - In an effort to spare Georgians with disabilities from homelessness or unnecessary institutionalization, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority (GHFA) $4.1 million. GHFA will use this source of federal funding to offer rental assistance to 150 extremely low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom are transitioning out of institutional settings or are at extreme risk of homelessness. By working together, HUD and HHS are helping states like Georgia to offer permanent housing and critically needed supportive services to ensure these at-risk individuals find their place within the fabric of their community.
HUD's support of these state agencies is made possible through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (PRA Demo) which enables persons with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of median income to live in integrated mainstream settings. The state housing agencies are working closely with their state Medicaid and health and human service counterparts to identify, refer, and conduct outreach to persons with disabilities who require long-term services and supports to live independently.
"This type of innovative and collaborative approach at the federal, state and local levels works to offer tangible and lasting solutions for those vulnerable persons who might otherwise be institutionalized or living on our streets," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. "We're assisting states to reduce their health care costs, improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities, and are working to end homelessness. That is smart government."
"We are pleased that this partnership will provide much needed assistance to thousands of low-income individuals. Many who receive Medicaid are moving from institutions into home- and community-based care. Many of these people are living with disabilities and are at risk of homelessness, and this partnership will give them freedom and resources to get the care they need in their own homes," said Renard L. Murray, D.M., CMS Regional Administrator - Atlanta and Dallas Regional Offices.
Mike Beatty, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, noted "This is one of the most comprehensive partnerships we've entered into, with two major federal agencies and three Georgia agencies, plus the City of Atlanta, all working together to address a true problem for extremely low income citizens with disabilities, and I'm proud of the team that has developed this new program for Georgia."
"My administration is committed to reducing street homelessness in the City of Atlanta, and this grant will help our efforts tremendously," said Mayor Kasim Reed. "We've already made great strides, and this grant furthers the Obama administration's comprehensive strategy of preserving public housing for the working families, providing access to critical services and stemming the current loss of thousands of public housing units annually. I would like to thank the Obama Administration, HUD, HHS and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for their collaboration and support in addressing this important issue and working to make a difference in the lives of families."
The Georgia Housing and Finance Authority, whose programs are administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, joined with the Georgia Department of Community Health, the state's Medicaid Agency, in the development of Georgia's Section 811 PRA Demo Program to further the state's commitment to provide integrated housing opportunities with support services to extremely low income persons with disabilities. GHFA is the state entity allocating federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits and is the recipient of funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Continuum of Care programs.
Today's announcement reinforces the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the landmark 1999 Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., which requires state and local governments to provide services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
The rental assistance announced today also supports the Obama Administration's strategy to prevent and end homelessness. The Dedicating Opportunities to End Homelessness (DOEH) Initiative is a joint effort by HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to help communities match their homeless supports with other mainstream resources such as housing choice vouchers, public housing, private multifamily housing units, and other federally funded services. The initiative is beginning in 10 critically important communities: Atlanta, Chicago, Fresno County, Los Angeles County, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Maricopa County, Seattle, and Tampa.
Authorized under the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010, HUD's Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program provides funding to states for project-based rental assistance to develop permanent affordable housing options in integrated settings for extremely low-income persons with disabilities. Under the state health care/housing agency partnership, each state has in place a policy for referrals, tenant selection, and service delivery to ensure that this housing is targeted to those persons with disabilities most in need of deeply affordable supportive housing.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.