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Disabled housing assistance.

Disabled individuals can get help from housing and rental assistance programs that are run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The various resources and programs available that are funded by the government include Section 811, Tenant Based Rent Assistance ,and HOPW. In addition to those resources, help can even be provided by Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. More information is provided below on these and other housing and rent programs that can help the disabled.

Housing facilities and rental assistance is offered to the disabled from the Section 811 program. The federal government created this resource in order to allow individuals with a disability to live in safe, secure, and affordable housing. It helps families live as independently as possible in private communities across the nation by increasing the supply of affordable rental housing. The section 811 program also supplies other supportive services, such as case management, referrals, free advice, and other aid.

All rent due from the participant will be subsidized by the government. The program also provides project rental assistance to disabled clients, which will pay for the difference in expenses between the HUD-approved operating costs of the home/apartment and the tenants' contribution toward their apartment or home rent. The payment made from the voucher will usually be 30 percent of the households adjusted income. The initial term of the project rental assistance contract is for a period of time of up to 3 years, however it can be renewed if funds are available and the participant meets all eligibility requirements.

Requirements and where to apply

The requirements that need to be met in order to receive disability housing assistance from Section 811 include the following. An applying household, which may consist of a single qualified person, needs to have at least one member who is 18 years of age or older. A household member must have a disability, such as a serious medical condition, chronic mental illness, physical handicap or some type of developmental disability.

In addition, the applicant must be low-income, which is usually defined as a range within a certain percentage of the median income for the area. Housing units are operated by private owners in your state. To apply, contact a local non-profit agency or housing program in your county to apply. Find non-profits to apply at.




Another option is a national non-profit that is focused on people with disabilities, and it is The National Supportive Housing Network. The organization is a non-profit, non-partisan group that is committed to increasing availability and access to housing resources for lower income people with disabilities. They do this by helping to coordinate resources and programs across the nation.

The non-profit takes a pro-active approach by providing special emphasis on preventing homelessness. So they can refer people to emergency rental assistance, security deposits, and legal advice. The non-profit also works on expanding affordable and safe housing opportunities to persons with a disability that fall within income limits. Assistance is also for persons who are currently unnecessarily housed in institutions. One resource that is recommended by the Supportive Housing Network that a disabled person can use to find low income housing or apartments is Socialserve, which can be reached at 1.877.428.8844.

The National Supportive Housing Network administers several resources and services, including offering information to disabled residents about ways to find housing or to increase their income resources. The agency may have information on rent assistance programs as well. They also work closely with a number of non-profits that are involved in creating housing opportunities for the disabled.

Other disabled rental assistance programs

While not solely focused on and created for the disabled, other state and federal government funded housing resources can include the following.

Tenant Based Rent Assistance – This will usually provide families with vouchers to help them pay their rent. It will pay for the different between what the apartment costs on a monthly basis, and what the renter can afford to pay. Some states have much more generous voucher programs in place for the disabled, so they may be able to benefit more. Learn more on Tenant Based Rent Help, or TBRA.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program – While not technically a resource focused on disabled, this is a federal government program that provides housing and rental assistance to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families. The HOPWA program may provide housing and resources that offer emergency rent help (both long term and short term), transitional housing, shelter, or long-term affordable solutions.

Section 8 housing for disabled – This is the federal government’s primary low income housing program. It can help people of any background, and not just the disabled. It can assist the low income, elderly, and others find and pay for rental homes and apartments. Statewide public housing agencies (PHAs) accept applications and administer the funds and vouchers.





Emergency rental assistance for disabled - A number of non-profit agencies, charities, and local government programs can be contacted. Since funding is limited, many will give priority to applicants who are disabled. Learn more and find a list of agencies to contact in order to get fast, emergency rent assistance.

Vouchers from Certain Development program - States, counties, and local towns work with public housing authorities to offer this program. The household that is applying for assistance needs to have at least one member that is disabled and they can’t be senior citizens. The voucher can be used to pay a portion of your housing expenses for an apartment or home that was pre-approved by the government. The government program does have limited funding. While a waiting list may not be used for this resource, there are other conditions, such as income limits. The same agencies that offer section 811 will administer this program as well. Read more about disabled rental assistance vouchers.

The key difference between section 811 and the housing programs referenced immediately above is that the primary goal of section 811 vouchers is to help families with a disabled member who is part of the household. All of the resources and assistance provided has that primary goal in mind, of helping the disabled find housing, provide vouchers that help pay for security deposits and rent, and offer case management and counseling.

By Jon McNamara

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