HUD to Distribute $150M to State Housing Agencies for Low-Income Rental Assistance

HUD has awarded $150 million in rental assistance to 25 state housing agencies, with the goal of preventing individuals with disabilities from being institutionalized or possibly falling into homelessness.

Washington, D.C.—HUD has awarded $150 million in rental assistance to 25 state housing agencies, with the goal of preventing individuals with disabilities from being institutionalized or possibly falling into homelessness. In turn, the state agencies will provide permanent affordable rental housing and needed supportive services to nearly 4,600 households who are extremely low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom hoping to transition out of institutional settings.

HUD’s support of state housing agencies is made possible through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) program, which applies to disabled people who earn less than 30 percent of their area’s median income. PRA can provide interest-free capital advances and operating subsidies to nonprofit developers of affordable housing for persons with disabilities, though it hasn’t done so in recent years.

Most recently, PRA has provided project rental assistance to state housing agencies. The assistance can be applied to new or existing multifamily housing communities funded through different sources, such as Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal HOME funds and other state, federal and local programs. When receiving assistance, state housing agencies and their state Medicaid and HHS partner agencies identify and refer target populations persons with disabilities who require community-based, long-term care services to live independently.

The initiative follows the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1999 Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., according to HUD Secretary Julián Castro. In that decision, the high court held that individuals with mental disabilities have the right to live in the community rather than in institutions if “the State’s treatment professionals have determined that community placement is appropriate, the transfer from institutional care to a less restrictive setting is not opposed by the affected individual, and the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the State and the needs of others with mental disabilities.”

Texas will receive the highest dollar-amount under the initiative, $12 million, slightly more than Ohio and California, which will receive about $11.9 million. The rental assistance will support more units in Ohio (508) than anywhere else, while Georgia’s funding will support 350 units and Wisconsin’s will support 300 units.