The federal government plans to send an additional $85 million to states to provide rental assistance for people with disabilities living on extremely modest incomes.
Obama administration officials said Tuesday that state housing agencies may apply for the new round of funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 811 program now through July.
Ultimately, the money is expected to provide rental assistance to about 2,800 people with disabilities across the country, federal officials said.
In order to qualify for the aid, individuals must earn no more than 30 percent of the median income for their area.
For the first time, housing agencies will need to partner with their state health and human services and Medicaid agency in order to be eligible for the grants. The requirement is intended to ensure that rental assistance goes toward those with the greatest need and to allow aid recipients to receive casework services so they are successful, officials said.
Advocates praised the effort for offering more people with disabilities the supports they need to live in the community.
“The Section 811 program is a lifeline for people in the disability community who want to live normal lives in society, but cannot afford the cost of even modest rental housing,” said Andrew Sperling who leads the housing task force at the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, a coalition of about 100 disability organizations.