New Vouchers Propel Us Forward
In early September, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded nearly $100 million to 285 local public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country to provide permanent affordable housing to nearly 12,000 additional non-elderly people with disabilities. This opportunity is coming online through HUD's Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, which provides funding to housing agencies to assist non-elderly people with disabilities who are:
- transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings;
- at serious risk of institutionalization;
- experiencing homelessness; or
- at risk of homelessness.
Many of you are working with PHAs who’ve received new vouchers to ensure that they’re being deployed in alignment and coordination with local efforts to prevent and end homelessness. These efforts should include people with disabilities who are experiencing chronic homelessness and ensure that people have access to housing and services while living independently in the community and setting of their choice.
What’s just as exciting is that Congress appropriated almost $300 million more into HUD's Fiscal Year 2018 budget for the Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher program, which will soon be available for communities. These future vouchers along with those announced last month, are critical for our efforts to provide equitable access to affordable housing to people experiencing homelessness. If your community hasn’t applied for these funds yet, you can start laying the groundwork for your response to the next funding opportunity, which we expect to see soon.
To prepare, it would be worth reviewing this series of webinars from our partners at Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).
We also wanted to offer some other resources as you work to engage PHAs and other critical partners to deploy these vouchers – and to pursue other avenues of partnership:
- CSH’s PHA Toolkit: This resource provides how-to information, templates, and examples you’ll need to create supportive housing.
- HHS ASPE’s Primer on Using Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness: This report provides a “how-to” guide on the various ways that Medicaid can cover state-level services strategies to support permanent housing placement.
- HUD’s Section 811 Portal: this page offers supportive housing resources for people with disabilities.
- USICH’s PHA Guidebook to Ending Homelessness: This resource provides guidance and best practices PHAs can use to strengthen their collaborative efforts.
- USICH’s Fulfilling the Dream: Aligning State Efforts to Implement Olmstead and End Chronic Homelessness: This document makes the case for state-level alignment of efforts to end chronic homelessness among people with disabilities and efforts to comply with the community integration mandate under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- USICH’s Enlisting Mainstream Resources and Programs to End Homelessness: This document details key mainstream programs, like Medicaid, Housing Choice Vouchers, and SSI/SSDI benefits, and the ways they can support your efforts to prevent and end homelessness.
At USICH, we know that these mainstream vouchers can help advance Home, Together: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, which calls for expanded access to and prioritization of people experiencing homelessness for affordable housing resources. We hope that communities will seize the opportunities these vouchers can provide to drive greater progress toward ending homelessness.