HUD AND HHS TEAM UP TO PROVIDE PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING TO EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN ILLINOIS
Strategy to save 458 affordable housing units in Illinois, create jobs; nearly $12 million in rental assistance to prevent homelessness or unnecessary institutionalization
CHICAGO – In an effort to spare hundreds of Illinois 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) awarded nearly $1,982,009 million to the Illinios Housing Development Authority (IHDA) at a press conference today hosted by Governor Pat Quinn. IHDA will use this source of federal funding to offer rental assistance to 826 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 Illinois 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 real problems and offer real and lasting solutions for persons who might otherwise be institutionalized or living on our streets,” said HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones. “Governor Quinn and our Illinois partners will use this money to help reduce health care costs, improve quality of life for more than 800 persons with disabilities, and end homelessness as we know it.”
“Our nation is strongest when all our citizens are able to fully participate and contribute,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This unique collaboration of federal and state agencies will enable thousands of Americans with disabilities to lead productive, meaningful lives in their communities.”
“Investing in people is the most important thing we can do,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “We’re committed to making sure all our citizens – regardless of the challenges they face - have the opportunity to reach their full potential. These resources will not only help us provide a home for people who need one, but also the skills training, counseling, and services they need to become productive members of their communities.”
“These funds will provide 826 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.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which currently administers the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, along with other statewide agencies, will administerIllinois’ Section 811 PRA Demo program. The program will be coordinated by an Interagency Panel chaired by the Statewide Housing Coordinator (Office of the Governor) with membership from the following agencies: the IHDA; the Department of Healthcare and Family Services; the Department of Human Services; and the Department on Aging. Illinois will utilize the Section 811 PRA Demo subsidy to dramatically advance its commitment to community reintegration of persons by funding 826 units. This PRA Demo funding will be used to provide project-based rental assistance to the disabled population prioritized by the state as a result of three Olmstead-related consent decrees in 2010-2011. As a result of these consent decrees, the State agreed to significantly increase the number of community-based housing options for persons with severe mental illness, physical disabilities and developmental disabilities complemented by supportive services in cases where the consumer elects to leave institutional care and is determined capable of transitioning to independent living with person-centered supports and services. In addition, this grant will assist in achieving the administration’s 10 year goal of ending homelessness. Chicago has been identified as having one of the country’s highest chronically homeless populations.
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.govand http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.