April 30, 2015
SACRAMENTO, For thousands of California residents, finding a safe and affordable place to live is one of their biggest worries in life. This is especially true for those who are faced with a mental or physical disability.
California’s first-in-the-nation implementation of Section 811 Project Rental Assistance to provide innovative housing for disabled residents, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), was recognized during a special visit to Sacramento by Ben Metcalf, Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD, on April 29, 2015.
In February 2015, California became the first state in the nation to move residents into apartments made possible by HUD funding. The state received additional funding of $12 million in March 2015.
“Safe, affordable housing is something everyone should have access to,” Metcalf said. “It’s wonderful to see these local residents settling into their homes, which offer both stability and a chance to live independently. It is our hope to see thousands more across the nation given that same opportunity.”
States across the U.S. have received funding to establish rental assistance programs that will help those residents who might otherwise be homeless or institutionalized.
“In hearing from residents who have been able to move into their new apartments, it’s clear that California’s rental assistance program is making a difference,” said Tia Boatman Patterson, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency. “We are committed to seeing this program grow, and ensuring that it works to provide housing to those Californians who need it most.”
Thousands of Medi-Cal beneficiaries live in institutional settings primarily because they lack support for a transition to independent community living or they can’t access affordable housing, said Mari Cantwell, Chief Deputy Director with the California Department of Health Care Services. “This collaborative effort helps us provide the right care in the right setting,” Cantwell said. “It allows people to live more independently than they would in a nursing home or another institution, provides the support they need and reduces costs.”
The first residents transitioned from long-term care facilities into Garden Village apartments in Sacramento in February. The complex was renovated by Domus Development in 2014 to preserve affordable apartments for qualified residents whose annual incomes are below 30% of the area median income.
The Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program is a collaborative effort between CalHFA, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the California Department of Health Care Services, the California Department of Developmental Services and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, and enables disabled individuals between the ages of 18 and 61 to transition from nursing homes, other institutions or homelessness into healthier supportive housing.
Qualifying residents must be eligible to receive community-based, long-term care services or State Plan Services provided under Medi-Cal and be referred by a California Community Transitions coordinator or a Department of Developmental Services Regional Center. A referral process connects the person with a property eligible to receive the funding. Acceptance into the program gives the person independent living and the security of a permanent place to call home.
Contact: Melissa Flores
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