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Housing Vouchers To Help People Stay Out Of Institutional Settings

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The federal government is offering 4,000 rental assistance vouchers to people with disabilities, 1,000 of which will be targeted to people transitioning out of nursing homes and other institutional settings, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Monday.

The announcement comes as part of “The Year of Community Living” initiative launched by President Barack Obama earlier Monday in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case Olmstead v. LC and EW. In that decision, the court determined that states have an obligation to provide community-based living options for people with disabilities.

The vouchers, called housing choice vouchers, will be for non-elderly Americans with disabilities. They will subsidize a person’s rent such that those who qualify will pay only about 30 percent of their income in rent. The vouchers do not expire and continue so long as the individual qualifies for the program. They will be distributed through local public housing authorities.

A quarter of the vouchers will be tagged specifically for people who are currently leaving an institutional setting. HUD officials are encouraging local officials to use the remaining vouchers to assist people who now live in the community, but are at risk for institutionalization.

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