September 30, 2011
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743
State housing, health agencies secure $330,000 grant increasing housing choices for persons with disabilities
(AUSTIN) — A collaborative effort between the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has helped the state land a $330,000 federal grant linking supportive services and affordable housing for persons with disabilities, making it possible to live a more independent life.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), yesterday announced that Texas was one of six states sharing $1.9 million in Real Choice System Change Grants, the application on which the two state agencies collaborated.
The Real Choice System Grant helps state health departments expand partnerships with their respective state housing agencies and develop long-term strategies to provide permanent and affordable rental housing for persons with disabilities.
The grant prioritizes persons that receive Medicaid services and will help to expand community based affordable housing choices for those currently living in institutional settings.
“This grant is an excellent example of an innovative and visionary partnership between two state agencies,” noted TDHCA Executive Director Tim Irvine. “It is the sort of cooperation and coordination which Texans should expect from their state government. But while we celebrate this award, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the most important aspect of our mutual success is that we will be creating opportunities to expand housing choices for persons with disabilities while ensuring they receive the critical supportive services they need to live independently.”
This week’s announcement further enhances the partnership between DADS, the state Medicaid agency, and TDHCA, and will provide the framework to increase housing choices for persons with disabilities with linkages to supportive services.
The CMS award, among other initiatives, will help create an online information clearinghouse to tie existing and future affordable housing units with available services for persons with disabilities, as well as funding a statewide partnership academy to educate developers of affordable housing and help service and housing providers link their programs.
The grant is also expected to help TDHCA apply for and access future HUD Section 811 Program funding soon available to state housing finance agencies. The new Section 811 funds will provide an innovative funding option for TDHCA to use project rental assistance in partnership with their existing affordable housing finance programs.
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers a number of state and federal programs through for-profit, nonprofit, and local government partnerships to strengthen communities through affordable housing development, homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services for Texans in need.
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