Federal officials say they are distributing millions of dollars in new housing aid for people with disabilities.

More than $36 million in what are known as Mainstream Vouchers are headed to 218 public housing agencies in 46 states, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Of the funds, $23 million will go toward 2,391 new vouchers to help people with disabilities leave or avoid institutions or homelessness, officials said.

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The remaining money will help public housing agencies and their partners in the community support people as they search for housing, help with move-in costs and so that the agencies can conduct landlord engagement activities.

“It is a right of every person with a disability to live and fully participate in the community and not be relegated to institutional settings or homelessness,” said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge. “The funding HUD is awarding today will provide communities with additional resources to help people with disabilities exit or avoid institutional settings and exercise their rights to community living.”

Mainstream Vouchers are aimed at households that include people with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 62. Federal housing officials say that they’ve granted more than $500 million to public housing agencies since 2018 for 50,000 new vouchers under the program.

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