non-profits to receive section8 vouchers for mi's

rosaphil (rugosa@interport.net)
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 17:15:14 -0500 (EST)


hurry up clubhouses. time to put in and turn these vouchers into permanent
housing.



+********** Snail me yer rosehips if you liked this post! ************
*Better Living Thru Better Living!* http://www.interport.net/~rugosa *

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 17:57:14 -0500
From: chris@nami.org
Subject: NAMI E-News   HUD Funding Action Alert 

 
_______________________________________________________________
NAMI E-News          March 24, 1999          Vol. 99-105
_______________________________________________________________


FUNDING ALERT:  
HUD ISSUES NOTICES OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY FOR HOUSING FOR ADULTS 
WITH SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESSES AND OTHER DISABILITIES

On March 8, 1999, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
announced the availability of $48.5 million for new tenant based rental 
subsidies for people with disabilities (including severe mental illnesses) 
through the Mainstream Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 
Program.  These resources were included in HUDís FY 1999 budget by Congress.  An 
important modification this year is that this funding is available to non-profit 
disability organizations (including non-profits in the mental health field) as 
well as to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs).  Congress urged HUD to make this 
modification through the agencyís FY 1999 appropriations bill and provided 1,600 
five-year rent subsidies to both non-profit disability organizations and PHAs 
qualified to administer the program.

This announcement by HUD is critically important for NAMI and its allies in the 
disability community because it is the first time that non-profit disability 
organizations have been eligible to apply for Section 8 tenant based rent 
subsidies.  During the past three years, HUD has made these funds available only 
to PHAs through the Section 8 Mainstream Program for People with Disabilities.  
Unfortunately, only 10% of PHAs were willing to apply.  If the PHA refused to 
apply, disability advocates had no other way to obtain these rent subsidies for 
people with disabilities in their communities who desperately needed them. 

According to the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal 
Register, in order to be eligible to apply, a nonprofit organization must have 
the capacity to and/or experience with:

∑ Administering rental housing programs or manage rental housing (e.g. private 
rental housing, HUD or state-related housing programs, etc);
 
∑ Carrying out Section 8 related activities such as: making determinations as to 
rent;
 
∑ reasonableness; performing housing quality standards (HQS) inspections and 
enforcement; conducting annual reexamination of participant families; and 
meeting other Section 8 requirements (including compliance with the Section 8 
Management Assessment Program (SEMAP));
 
∑ Meeting all Mainstream Program responsibilities including, when requested: 
assisting program participants to gain access to supportive services within the 
community; identifying funding sources to assist participants in covering the 
costs of modifications that need to be made to their units as a reasonable 
accommodation for their disabilities; providing housing search assistance; and 
providing technical assistance to owners for making reasonable accommodations or 
making units accessible to persons with disabilities.

It is important to note that it appears from the NOFA that subsidies for the 
"mainstream" program may not be restricted to particular disability 
subpopulations.  Thus, interested applicants must certify to HUD that they are 
able to serve people with any type of disability.

Nonprofit disability organizations (including NAMI affiliates, CMHCs, MHAs and 
others) and PHAs may each apply for up to 75 vouchers.  Applications that meet a 
basic threshold screening will be put into a lottery for funding.  The NOFA 
encourages and emphasizes the importance of the development of partnerships 
between PHAs and nonprofit disability organizations where one agency is viewed 
as being the program administrator by HUD.  These partnerships are particularly 
important given that HUD is permitting only PHAs to apply for additional 
Mainstream subsidies which may become available as a result of leftover funding 
from other rental assistance programs for persons with disabilities (see below 
for further information on these programs). 

It is important to note that applications for the "Mainstream" programs are due 
at HUD by May 7, 1999.  Applications for funding will need to include a letter 
of intent that states the minimum number of subsidies that an applicant will 
accept, and a narrative that documents the need for these subsidies using data 
from various sources such as census data, and wait lists.  In addition, 
applications must include a Mainstream Program Operating Plan that describes how 
the applicant will meet all responsibilities cited above.  Since this 
application is due to HUD by May 7, it is critical that interested nonprofit 
disability organizations immediately begin to compile the necessary information. 
 NAMI is currently working to get this May 7 deadline extended.  At a recent 
congressional hearing on HUDís FY 2000, Secretary Cuomo has agreed to extend the 
deadline, but only for an additional 30 days. 

For further information, visit the HUD web page at 
http://www.hud.gov/fundsav1.html or check the Technical Assistance Collaborative 
(http://www.tacinc.org) and the CCD Housing Task Force (http:www.c-c-d.org) web 
sites for updates.

OTHER HUD FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH SEVERE 
MENTAL ILLNESSES AND OTHER DISABILITIES

NAMI advocates should keep in mind that there are other housing funds available 
for people with disabilities in the HUD budget for this year, including:

1. $87 million in the capital advances component of the Section 811 Supportive 
Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program 

HUD announced on February 26, 1999 the availability of $87 million for capital 
advances for the development of affordable housing for persons with disabilities 
(including adults with severe mental illnesses).  The capital advances may be 
used to construct, rehabilitate, or acquire structures to be developed into a 
variety of housing options including small group homes, independent living 
projects and dwelling units in multifamily housing developments, condominiums, 
and cooperative housing.  Repayment of the capital advance is not required as 
long as the housing remains available for at least 40 years for occupancy by 
very low income persons with disabilities.  Project-based  rental assistance 
funds are used to cover the difference between the tenantsí contributions toward 
rent and the cost to operate the project.  Nonprofit disability organizations 
(including NAMI affiliates, CMHCs, MHAs and others) are the only entities 
eligible to apply for this funding.  For further information, visit the HUD web 
page at http://www.hud.gov/fundsav1.html.

Applications for the Section 811 capital advance, project-based assistance 
program are due at HUD by May 27, 1999.

2. $750 million in McKinney Homeless Assistance funding

On February 26, 1999, HUD announced the availability of $750 million in funding 
for supportive services, and transitional and permanent housing for homeless 
persons.  The funds available through the McKinney Homeless Assistance can be 
used under any of three programs that assist in creating and enhancing systems 
to meet the needs of homeless persons within your community Ė including homeless 
adults with severe mental illnesses.  These three programs are:

∑ Supportive Housing Program. This program includes the development of 
transitional housing or supportive services for homeless persons; and permanent 
housing for homeless persons with severe mental illnesses disabilities.
 
∑ Shelter Plus Care. This program includes the development of permanent housing 
combined with supportive services for homeless individuals with severe mental 
illnesses.
 
∑ Section Single Room Occupancy 8 Moderate Rehabilitation. This program includes 
the development of permanent housing for homeless individuals.

Permanent Housing Set-Aside 

This yearís Notice of Funding Availability for the McKinney Homeless Assistance 
Program requires a permanent housing set-aside.  In other words, at least 30% of 
the total funding made available through the McKinney Homeless Assistance 
programs must be used to fund permanent housing projects for homeless persons, 
such as Shelter Plus Care, Section 8 Single Room Occupancy Moderate 
Rehabilitation, and the Supportive Housing Program Ė Permanent Housing for 
Persons with Disabilities.

To be eligible for this funding, agencies must participate in the development of 
a local strategic plan, known as the Continuum of Care, that identifies the 
needs of homeless people in your community and develops strategies to address 
these needs.  To find out more about the Continuum of Care process in your 
community, contact the Community Planning and Development Office of your local 
HUD Field Office or visit the HUD web page at http://www.hud.gov/fundsav1.html. 
Applications from communities for the McKinney homeless assistance grants 
program are due at by June 2, 1999.

3. $20 million to fund approximately 4,200 Section 8 vouchers for non-elderly 
disabled families in an effort to compensate for units that lost due to "elderly 
only" housing policies at certain housing developments

HUD announced on March 8, 1999 the availability of $20 million for 4,200 Section 
8 vouchers for non-elderly disabled families (including adults with severe 
mental illnesses) on wait lists at specific housing developments.  These 
vouchers were made available as an means of compensating for units lost at 
specific types of housing developments where the owners have decided to restrict 
occupancy (or portions thereof) to elderly families.

These new Section 8 vouchers will enable non-elderly disabled families, 
including adults with severe mental illnesses, affected by this loss of housing 
units to rent affordable housing in the community.  Only Public Housing 
Authorities (PHAs) may apply for funding, and application is limited to a 
maximum of 200 vouchers.  These PHAs must identify in the application the 
developments that have designated themselves as "elderly only" and provide 
information about the number of non-elderly disabled families on the wait lists 
at these developments.  For further information, visit the HUD web page at 
http://www.hud.gov/fundsav1.html and watch the TAC and CCD web pages for funding 
updates.  Applications for these "elderly only" assisted housing designation 
vouchers are due at HUD by June 30, 1999. 

4. $20 million to fund Section 8 vouchers for non-elderly persons with 
disabilities in support of PHA Designated Housing Plans

HUD announced on March 8, 1999 the availability of $20 million for 4,200 Section 
8 vouchers for non-elderly persons with disabilities.  This funding was made 
available to provide housing assistance to non-elderly disabled families who 
would have been housed by a PHA if occupancy in the designated public housing 
developments was not restricted to elderly households.  Only PHAs that have 
developed or plan to develop a HUD-approved Designated Housing Allocation Plan 
may apply for these subsidies.  A Designated Housing Plan is mechanism for 
allocating units for particular populations, elderly persons for example, at 
identified PHA public housing developments.  For further information, visit the 
HUD web page at http://www.hud.gov/fundsav1.html and watch the TAC and CCD web 
pages for funding updates.  Applications for these "elderly only" public housing 
designation vouchers are due at HUD by June 30, 1999. 

ACTION REQUESTED:  
GET INVOLVED WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS TO ENSURE THAT 
YOUR COMMUNITY GETS THE CHANCE TO COMPETE FOR THESE HOUSING FUNDS  

All NAMI leaders are urged to contact local housing officials to ensure that 
they are aware of the availability of these HUD funds.  The applications 
processes for many of these HUD programs are either restricted to housing 
authorities, or require input and consent from local housing officials.  NAMI 
advocates interested in increasing housing options for people with severe mental 
illnesses in their community are also urged to seek out key officials in your 
local public mental health system, i.e. state mental health commissioner, CMHC 
director, MHA leadership, local clubhouse or psychosocial rehabilitation agency, 
etc.  These state and local officials are typically responsible for ensuring 
access to decent safe and affordable housing for the clients they serve.  They 
need to be involved in the process of educating local housing officials and HUD 
field staff about the growing demand for decent, safe and affordable housing 
(and the need for housing-related supports and services) for low-income adults 
with severe mental illnesses.  Leaders of local NAMI affiliates are also urged 
to seek out colleague disability organizations at the community level about 
partnering in an effort to seek funds directly from HUD, or through a local 
coalition.  

Technical Assistance Available to NAMI Affiliates

Through NAMIís involvement in the CCD Housing Task Force, limited technical 
assistance is being made available to chapters and affiliates interested in 
applying directly to HUD for the Section 8 "mainstream" program.  However, to 
receive this technical assistance, a NAMI organization must be a qualified 
non-profit disability organization, i.e. it must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit 
organization and have experience administering government housing programs (as 
specified in the HUD NOFA).  

Note, even if your local NAMI organization does not meet this criteria, you can 
still seek assistance from TAC by reaching out to colleague disability 
organizations in your area such as the local Arc, UCPA, CMHC, MHA, Easter Seals 
or independent living center.  For more information on this technical 
assistance, please contact Christina Chang at TAC by phone, 617-742-5657, or by 
e-mail cchang@tacinc.org.  Additional information on the HUD NOFAs and TACís 
technical assistance initiative will be included in an upcoming issue of the 
"Opening Doors" newsletter (which all NAMI organizations should be receiving).
  
 

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