$40 Million Available to Housing Authorities to Provide 5300 Vouchers

Posted by Pam Blanton on April 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 7, 2010

HHS, HUD PARTNER TO ALLOW RENTAL ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR NON-ELDERLY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

WASHINGTON – Thousands of Americans with disabilities will have housing assistance specifically targeted to meet their needs, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today.

As part of President Obama’s Year of Community Living initiative, HHS and HUD collaborated to provide housing support for non-elderly persons with disabilities to live productive independent lives in their communities rather than in institutional settings.

HUD is offering approximately $40 million to public housing authorities across the country to fund approximately 5,300 Housing Choice Vouchers for non-elderly persons with disabilities, allowing them to live independently.  HHS will use its network of state Medicaid agencies and local human service organizations to link eligible individuals and their families to local housing agencies who will administer voucher distribution.

The vouchers will augment work already being done by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through its Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) grant program.  Originally set to expire next year, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010” extended the MFP program through 2016 with an additional appropriation of over $2 billion.  The Act also cut to three months, from the previous six months, the amount of time a person must be in an institution to qualify for help making the transition to community life.

To read the entire joint release issued today (4/7) go to the CMS website located at:  http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press_releases.asp

As a result of the Olmstead ruling, HHS issued guidance to states on how to make their Medicaid programs more responsive to people living with disabilities who wish to reside in the least restrictive setting.  Today’s announcement is yet another step in HHS’s 10-year effort to achieve that goal.

To read the full funding announcement, visit HUD’s Web site.  More information about the Money Follows the Person program can be found at

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CommunityServices/20_MFP.asp

Other helpful CMS webpages:

Community Initiative info: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CommunityServices/10_CommunityLivingInitiative.asp#TopOfPage

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