One of the barriers to a successful relocation from an institutional setting is the need for affordable, accessible, and integrated housing. Integrated housing is defined as normal, ordinary living arrangements typical of the general population and is achieved when individuals with disabilities choose ordinary, typical housing units that are located among individuals who do not have disabilities or other special needs.
The following sections identify the accomplishments made in the housing arena by the health and human services system in partnership with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and the local public housing authorities.
Project Access Vouchers (permanent Section 8 housing vouchers)
- TDHCA increased their Project Access Vouchers (Vouchers) from 35 to 50 in 2009 and from 50 to 60 in 2010.
- For 2011, the TDHCA Board of Directors approved an increase in Vouchers from 60 to 100 with 20 percent of all Vouchers set-aside for individuals 62 years of age or older relocating from institutional settings.
- TDHCA’s Voucher program has assisted over 270 individuals since the program began in 1992 with 35 vouchers.
- TDHCA changed the Voucher rules to allow individuals who might become “at risk” of re-institutionalization to apply for a Voucher. “At risk” is defined as within 120 days of the HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) voucher expiration.
Housing Trust Fund (the state’s general revenue housing fund)
- TDHCA Board of Directors approved a new Housing Trust Fund (HTF) program, the Affordable Housing Match Program which can provide $750,000 for grants to non-profit organizations to leverage additional funds for the production of affordable housing.
- TDHCA issued a HTF Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for another new program, the Amy Young Barrier Removal program which provides up to $20,000 in one-time grants to individuals with disabilities to make their homes (rental or owner-occupied) more accessible.
HOME TBRA (two-year temporary “bridge” vouchers)
- TDHCA opened a NOFA for applicants applying to administer TBRA vouchers for people with disabilities transitioning out of institutions into the community before making the funding available to other applicants.
- TDHCA proposed a change to the HOME rules to allow the administrative fee for the Persons with Disabilities TBRA program to increase from six to eight percent.
Collaboration with Public Housing Authorities
- Fort Worth Housing Authority set-aside 10 public housing units and 10 Section 8 vouchers for individuals participating in the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration (Dec 2009).
- TDHCA changed its rules for the Competitive Low Income Tax Credit program to provide an additional 30 percent boost in the eligible cost basis of a development if the developer sets-aside units for households at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income level.
- TDHCA Board of Directors approved the 2010 HOME Rental Housing Development NOFA which included a $1 million set-aside for the development of accessible rental units reserved for persons with disabilities.
- The Texas Low Income Housing Information Services develops and maintains a housing inventory database, the Texas Housing Counselor which can be accessed at www.texashousingcounselor.org.
- Promoting Independence (PI) and MFP Demonstration webpage updated with links to affordable housing resources (TDHCA), Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development).
- Although there have been significant accomplishments during the fiscal biennium, affordable, accessible and integrated housing is still in short supply for the Olmstead population.
The Housing and Health Services Coordinating Council (Council)
The Housing and Health Services Coordination Council was created by S.B. 1878, 81st Legislature, Regular Session, 2009. The purpose of this Council is to increase state efforts to offer service-enriched housing through increased coordination of housing and health services. The Council seeks to improve interagency understanding of housing and services and increase the number of staff in state housing and state health services agencies that are conversant in both housing and health care policies. TDHCA has administrative responsibility for the Council and all of its activities. The Executive Director of TDHCA serves as the Council Chair.
The Council is composed of 16 members: 8 members appointed by the Governor, and 7 State agency representative members including the Health and Human Services Commission, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Department of State Health Services, and the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. The Council’s 2010-2011 Biennial Plan may be found on the TDHCA website at: http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/hhscc/.
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May 24, 2011