The federal government announced February 12 nearly $100 million in grants for state housing agencies to provide assistance for extremely low-income people with disabilities.
“Our nation is strongest when all our citizens are able to fully participate and contribute,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a news release. “This unique collaboration of federal and state agencies will enable thousands of Americans with disabilities to lead productive, meaningful lives in their communities.”
The money, which will build an estimated 3,500 housing units, is eligible to people earning less than 30 percent of median income. The funds are part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, the centerpiece of a new comprehensive affordable housing measure passed by Congress in 2010 titled the Frank Melville Housing Supportive Housing Investment Act.
“Like all Americans, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve the opportunity to live independently in the community with their peers,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc, in a news release. “Unfortunately, low-income people with disabilities face a severe shortage of accessible and affordable housing.
“The money being awarded by HUD will allow thousands of individuals to live in the community, where they belong. For many, this announcement is the difference between life in an institution and inclusion in their communities.”