housing-assistance-blog

Disabilities and Housing Assistance: What You Should Know

When you become disabled, you’re suddenly confronted with adversity in nearly every aspect of your life. Often, this includes your living situation. With diminished work abilities and depleted mobility, you may find that you are unable to keep living in your current residence and at odds with finding a place that could accommodate you. Fortunately, help and resources are available to aid you through this challenging time and help to locate a place you can call home.

Public Housing

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to provide disabled and low-income people a place to stay at a subsidized price they can afford. The Department of Agriculture also offers rental assistance programs, home improvement and repair loans and grants, and self-help housing loans to those who qualify in more rural areas. Public housing comes in many forms, from scattered single-family homes to high-rise apartment buildings.

Section 8 Housing Programs

The Section 8 rental voucher and rental certificate programs are the Federal government’s main programs for aiding disabled, low-income individuals and families in renting decent housing in the private market.

These programs give those who qualify access to various properties; when a Section 8 certificate holder finds a space they want to move into, the PHA inspects the dwelling and reviews the lease before executing a housing assistance contract with the owner. Then, the tenant is to pay a fraction of the adjusted rent price. Rent for Section 8 housing does not exceed a maximum amount which varies based on your state.

Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities

Through Section 811 housing, HUD develops and subsidizes rental housing with supportive services available to very low and extremely low-income adults, specifically those with disabilities. Section 811 housing works in two ways: providing interest-free capital advances and operating subsidies to nonprofit developers of affordable housing for persons with disabilities and providing project rental assistance to state housing agencies.

Shelter Plus Care

S+C is a program intended to provide long-term housing and supportive services to homeless people with disabilities (mainly those with severe mental illness, substance abuse, and AIDS). Additionally, S+C could help families living in emergency shelters or places not intended for human inhabitation, such as abandoned buildings, parks, and cars. Program grants are used to provide rent payments, and the supportive services could be provided through Federal, state, local, or private sources.

For more rental help in the state of Oregon, click here.

Monica Foucher of Home Forward Gives Affordable Housing Advice

Recently, Kerr Robichaux & Carroll Attorney Sara Carroll spoke with Monica Foucher of Home Forward, the largest provider of affordable housing in Oregon.  Ms. Foucher shared valuable insights regarding the affordable housing they provide in the Portland Metro area.

Join waitlists. Ms. Foucher encourages people to join waitlists for housing assistance whenever they open, even if you aren’t sure that you will qualify or whether you will eventually need the resource. Waitlist times vary by program, but Ms. Foucher estimates that it is common for people to have to wait up to five years to be placed through Home Forward. Waitlists generally only open every few years, for a week at a time – Ms. Foucher suggests subscribing to Home Forward’s newsletter to keep up to date on waitlist openings and other agency news. You can read past issues here and click  “e-Newsletter Sign-up” at the top of the page to subscribe to future issues. The good news is that once you are placed on their waitlist, there is generally no limit to how long you may live at one of their properties. 

Consider the role of Social Security benefits. Ms. Foucher says that it is also important to consider how a person’s eligibility for housing may be impacted by the receipt of Social Security disability benefits. Generally speaking, a person who receives these benefits will remain eligible for most housing programs.

Understand your income limits. Income limits are based on family size, the annual income the family receives, and on the median income of a geographic area. For example, to qualify for project-based Section 8 a person is only eligible if they earn less than 50% of the area median income. There is also some subsidized housing set aside for households with extremely low incomes where they must make less than 30% of the area median income to qualify.  Household income must be less than 80% of the area median to be eligible for public housing. Visit the HUD site to look up current earning limits in your area.

Subsidized housing program costs. Participants in subsidized housing programs are required to contribute 28% to 30% of their income to cover the cost of housing.

KRC encourages you to reach out to Home Forward or other providers found on our resource page to get up-to-date information on the housing resources in your community. 

You Can Turn to Kerr Robichaux & Carroll.

Living with a current disability could be overwhelming and incredibly stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. With the Social Security Disability attorneys at Kerr Robichaux & Carroll by your side, you will not have to worry about facing the SSA alone. Instead, we will guide you through the Social Security Disability benefits process from start to finish, winning you the benefits that you and your family need and deserve.

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