As part of President Obama’s Year of Community Living initiative, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a joint effort on January 6 to provide housing support for non-elderly persons with disabilities who are currently receiving long-term care in institutional settings.
HUD is providing $7.5 million in rental assistance vouchers that will help nearly 1,000 individuals with disabilities to rent private apartments. The funding is being provided through HUD’s Rental Assistance for Non-Elderly Persons with Disabilities Program. It is part of the $40 million HUD made available in April 2010 to public housing authorities to fund approximately 5,300 rental assistance vouchers for non-elderly persons with disabilities to promote independent living for this community. For a local breakdown of the funding, visit HUD’s Web site.
Individuals receiving rental assistance will also receive health and social supports that will enable them to live independently.These supports are provided through the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s “Money Follows the Person” (MFP) grant program. The program allows individuals who qualify for Medicaid-funded nursing home or other institutional care to receive supports—such as in-home nursing and personal care services—while living in the community instead. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia are currently participating in the MFP program.
State Medicaid agencies and local human service organizations—such as ANCOR members in these states—will link eligible families to local public housing authorities that will administer voucher distribution. To improve the connections between the housing authorities and Medicaid agencies, HUD and HHS have launched the Housing Capacity Building Initiative for Community Living Projectto assist seniors and individuals with chronic conditions who are at risk of institutionalization or who currently receive care in institutional settings, in finding appropriate housing in order to live more independent lives.