March 20, 2015
Rental assistance will help prevent unnecessary institutionalization
Harrisburg, PA – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an $8,557,014 award to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to prevent individuals with disabilities from being unnecessarily institutionalized or falling into homelessness.
This grant will provide permanent affordable rental housing and needed supportive services to extremely low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom are hoping to transition out of institutional settings back to the community. The award is part of $150 million in rental assistance to 25 State Housing Agencies.
“This effort builds on my plan to ensure we are protecting our most vulnerable citizens and helping them stay in their homes,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Creating opportunities for affordable housing and independent living for persons with disabilities, seniors, and families across the Commonwealth is a top priority for my Administration.”
The award is made possible through the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) program, which enables persons with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of their area’s median income to live in integrated, affordable housing.
“Everyone deserves a stable home,” said Acting DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “Housing that allows individuals with disabilities to remain in the community is a critical resource that helps the Department improve the quality of life for many Pennsylvanians. This funding builds upon our current program and will allow us to serve and additional 200 households throughout the Commonwealth.”
The commonwealth will identify, refer, and support target populations of persons with disabilities who require community-based, long-term care services to live independently. This is one of several recent collaborative efforts between HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“We’re grateful to HUD for this funding to provide rental assistance to people with disabilities,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “Providing people the chance to live independently and avoid institutional living not only enriches their lives but has proven to be a more cost effective approach, as well. It benefits both residents and taxpayers.”
The grant reinforces the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the landmark 1999 Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., helping states and local governments to provide services in the most integrated settings appropriate to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.
Media contact: Diana Fishlock, DHS, 717-425-7606
Scott Elliott, PHFA, 717-649-6522
# # #