Steve Gold's Treasured Bits of Information

Housing Information: Omnibus Act and Stimulus Bill. Information Bulletin #282

Date Mailed: Friday, March 27th 2009 09:49 AM
Category: Housing


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Housing Information: Omnibus Act and Stimulus Bill.  Information Bulletin 
#282  (3/09).

The previous Information Bulletin discussed housing and Low-Income Housing 
Tax Credits.  This discusses a number of other housing programs  in both the 
Omnibus Appropriations Act for 2009 and the Stimulus Bill.  

All of the funds will be subject to the requirements in Section 504 of the 
Rehabilitation Act, including a minimum of 5% accessible units for people with 
physical disabilities and another two percent for people with hearing and 
visual disabilities, targeting the units for people who require the accessibility 
features, and providing reasonable accommodations.

1.  Congress has $30 million for 2009 housing choice "Mainstream" vouchers to 
be used only for non-elderly people with disabilities.  That's about 3,400 
new vouchers - Mainstream Vouchers.  These are competitive vouchers and must be 
applied for them.  

Interestingly, we do not know how many of the 2008 Mainstream vouchers were 
actually applied for and appropriated.  Some unconfirmed rumors have it that 
there may be1,500 not used. Hmm. 

Advocates should be talking with their housing authorities, housing finance 
agencies, nonprofits (and other folks) about applying for these competitive 
vouchers. Advocates should be asking their housing authorities IF they applied 
for the 2008 vouchers.  Because these Mainstream vouchers are so competitive, 
here's some suggestions advocates might want to consider:

    For those States that have received Money Follow the Person grants, 
here's a lot of new vouchers that could be used to help people transition out of 
institutions- if your State and your Housing Authorities work together and 
apply.  We're confident HUD will look favorably on this type of proposal.
        
    For those States that want to maximize the number of people who 
transition out of institutions, how about using these 2008 and 2009 Mainstream vouchers 
together with HOME's Tenant Based Rental Assistance vouchers.  How about 
working with your State and Housing Authorities to put together an intelligent 
package of a number of housing components to transition people out of 
institutions.  We're confident HUD will look favorably on this proposal, too.

Mainstream housing vouchers are very competitive, so this is a great 
opportunity for advocates to help your State and Housing Authorities increase their 
competitiveness.

    
2.  $4 billion was appropriated for Housing Authorities' capital funds to 
modernize and develop public housing. About $3 billion will be allocated by 
formula and you can go to the HUD website for a state by state breakdown.  Another 
$1 billion will be competitive. HUD will soon issue a Notice of Funding 
Availability for the criteria. 

It's really important that disability advocates make sure these funds are 
used to substantially increase the number of fully accessible units.  There 
really is no excuse in 2009 for any new construction or substantial rehabilitation 
not being fully accessible.  When constructing and substantially 
rehabilitating, it is not a cost issue to make the units accessible.

Advocates must be at the table with your Housing Authorities. 

3.      Under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, Congress 
increased the allocation by $1billion.  These funds can be and we must demand 
should be used to rehabilitate affordable housing.  Too often, jurisdictions 
that received CDBG used only a very small percent of the funds on housing.  
These funds can also be used to provide rental subsidies for people with 
disabilities to leave institutions. In the past, again, very few jurisdictions used 
CDBG funds for this.  

    Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at 
http://www.stevegoldada.com 
with a searchable Archive at this site divided into different subjects.  To 
contact Steve Gold directly, write to stevegoldada@cs.com or call 215-627-7100.   







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<HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><HTML><FONT  SIZE=3D2 PTSIZE=3D10 FAMILY=
=3D"SANSSERIF" FACE=3D"Arial" LANG=3D"0">Housing Information: Omnibus Act an=
d Stimulus Bill.&nbsp; Information Bulletin #282&nbsp; (3/09).<BR>
<BR>
The previous Information Bulletin discussed housing and Low-Income Housing T=
ax Credits.&nbsp; This discusses a number of other housing programs&nbsp; in=
 both the Omnibus Appropriations Act for 2009 and the Stimulus Bill.&nbsp; <=
BR>
<BR>
All of the funds will be subject to the requirements in Section 504 of the R=
ehabilitation Act, including a minimum of 5% accessible units for people wit=
h physical disabilities and another two percent for people with hearing and=20=
visual disabilities, targeting the units for people who require the accessib=
ility features, and providing reasonable accommodations.<BR>
<BR>
1.  Congress has $30 million for 2009 housing choice "Mainstream" vouchers t=
o be used only for non-elderly people with disabilities.&nbsp; That's about=20=
3,400 new vouchers - Mainstream Vouchers.&nbsp; These are competitive vouche=
rs and must be applied for them.&nbsp; <BR>
<BR>
Interestingly, we do not know how many of the 2008 Mainstream vouchers were=20=
actually applied for and appropriated.&nbsp; Some unconfirmed rumors have it=
 that there may be1,500 not used. Hmm. <BR>
<BR>
Advocates should be talking with their housing authorities, housing finance=20=
agencies, nonprofits (and other folks) about applying for these competitive=20=
vouchers. Advocates should be asking their housing authorities IF they appli=
ed for the 2008 vouchers.&nbsp; Because these Mainstream vouchers are so com=
petitive, here's some suggestions advocates might want to consider:<BR>
<BR>
    For those States that have received Money Follow the Person grants, here=
's a lot of new vouchers that could be used to help people transition out of=
 institutions- if your State and your Housing Authorities work together and=20=
apply.&nbsp; We're confident HUD will look favorably on this type of proposa=
l.<BR>
        <BR>
    For those States that want to maximize the number of people who transiti=
on out of institutions, how about using these 2008 and 2009 Mainstream vouch=
ers together with HOME's Tenant Based Rental Assistance vouchers.&nbsp; How=20=
about working with your State and Housing Authorities to put together an int=
elligent package of a number of housing components to transition people out=20=
of institutions.&nbsp; We're confident HUD will look favorably on this propo=
sal, too.<BR>
<BR>
Mainstream housing vouchers are very competitive, so this is a great opportu=
nity for advocates to help your State and Housing Authorities increase their=
 competitiveness.<BR>
<BR>
    <BR>
2.  $4 billion was appropriated for Housing Authorities' capital funds to mo=
dernize and develop public housing. About $3 billion will be allocated by fo=
rmula and you can go to the HUD website for a state by state breakdown.&nbsp=
; Another $1 billion will be competitive. HUD will soon issue a Notice of Fu=
nding Availability for the criteria. <BR>
<BR>
It's really important that disability advocates make sure these funds are us=
ed to substantially increase the number of fully accessible units.&nbsp; The=
re really is no excuse in 2009 for any new construction or substantial rehab=
ilitation not being fully accessible.&nbsp; When constructing and substantia=
lly rehabilitating, it is not a cost issue to make the units accessible.<BR>
<BR>
Advocates must be at the table with your Housing Authorities. <BR>
<BR>
3.&nbsp;     Under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, Con=
gress increased the allocation by $1billion.&nbsp; These funds can be and we=
 must demand should be used to rehabilitate affordable housing.&nbsp; Too of=
ten, jurisdictions that received CDBG used only a very small percent of the=20=
funds on housing.&nbsp; These funds can also be used to provide rental subsi=
dies for people with disabilities to leave institutions. In the past, again,=
 very few jurisdictions used CDBG funds for this.&nbsp; <BR>
<BR>
    Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues<BR>
<BR>
Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at http://ww=
w.stevegoldada.com <BR>
with a searchable Archive at this site divided into different subjects.&nbsp=
; To contact Steve Gold directly, write to stevegoldada@cs.com or call 215-6=
27-7100.   <BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
</FONT></HTML>
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