|HUD Region V No. 13-06
Laura J. Feldman
Follow us on Twitter @HUDMidwest
February 12, 2013
HUD AND HHS TEAM UP TO PROVIDE PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING TO EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN MINNESOTA
Three million dollars in rental assistance to prevent homelessness or unnecessary institutionalization
CHICAGO - In an effort to spare nearly a hundred Minnesota residents 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 Minnesota Housing Finance Agency $3 million. MHFA will use this source of federal funding to offer rental assistance to 95 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 Minnesota 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.
"Two federal agencies are working together to solve common sense problems and offer real and lasting solutions for persons who might otherwise be institutionalized or living on our streets," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We're helping states reduce health care costs, improving quality of life for persons with disabilities, and ending homelessness as we know it."
"These funds will provide 95 low-income individuals with disabilities a home and supportive services. This is not only the right thing to do, but is more cost effective than nursing homes and will save tax dollars", said HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator, Antonio R. Riley.
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) and the Minnesota Department of Human Services are partnering in the administration of Minnesota's Section 811 PRA Demo program. This partnership will create 95 units of integrated housing for some of the most vulnerable persons with disabilities currently living in the state. The program will target households that have extensive histories of housing instability as evidenced by a serious mental illness and long-term homelessness or those exiting institutional settings after a long-term stay of 90 days or more. MHFA will invite proposals from owners of existing mainstream affordable housing in Minnesota to implement the state's PRA Demo program. It will award 95 PRA Demo units across ten multifamily developments.
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 at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.