HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER UPDATEBeginning July 1, 2015, the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is planning to make an additional 31 housing choice vouchers available to people in the DOJ target population. These vouchers will be available to individuals who are referred to VHDA by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).
VHDA allocated 32 vouchers this year as a result of interagency coordination with DBHDS and with the support of local Housing Choice Voucher programs; DBHDS was able to refer additional people in the target population. To date, DBHDS made 57 referrals to VHDA for individuals in the target population. Between now and July 1st, the total number of VHDA issued vouchers available to those in the target population will be 63.
As you may know, on December 8, 2014 Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, sent a letter to every housing choice voucher program in the state, encouraging them to provide an admissions preference for individuals in the target population. A number of local programs have already contacted both DBHDS and VHDA, indicating that they plan to implement such a preference locally. Because of these developments, we encourage you to continue to identify individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability who want to live in their own rental housing, make a referral(s) to DBHDS and begin to prepare them to achieve that goal.
DBHDS continues to accept referrals from intellectual disability (ID) or developmental disability (DD) Support Coordinators, Community Integration Managers and Centers for Independent Living staff. We anticipate that there may be additional resources made available in the near future and acknowledge that there may be some program turnover, which could make both new and previously issued vouchers available for others in the target population.
Eligible individuals will be moved up on the list as referrals are made to VHDA. If an individual’s name comes to the top of the list and he or she decides not to utilize the voucher, his or her name will be removed from the referral list and a new referral must be submitted in order for the individual’s name to be placed back on the list.
REFERRAL FORM AND FAQ DOCUMENTReferral forms may be downloaded by clicking here. Please note that all referrals must be submitted on the referral form, dated January 23, 2015. For additional information, please download the FAQ document (dated 1/23/15) by clicking here.
REFERRAL PRIORITIESThe purpose of the housing choice voucher set-aside is to provide opportunities for individuals in the DOJ target population to move into independent rental housing, with supports as needed from institutions, ICF-IDDs, nursing homes, group homes, their family’s home, etc.
If an individual is currently living in his or her own rental housing or would like to live with his or her parent(s), grandparent(s) or legal guardian, a referral will not be made. In addition, eligible individuals must be included in the DOJ target population, at least 18 years of age or older and be the head of household/voucher recipient for lease purposes.
To align with the spirit and intent of the DOJ Settlement agreement, DBHDS will make all future referrals for eligible individuals based on the priorities outlined below:
- Priority #1- eligible individuals who, at the time of referral, have participated in the Rental Choice VA pilot program for no fewer than 24 months and are in good standing with the program (Priority #1 until such time as the state funding is not time limited).
- Priority #2- eligible individuals who, at the time of referral, reside at any of the Commonwealth’s training centers and who choose to live in a more integrated, less restrictive, community setting.
- Priority #3- eligible individuals who, at the time of referral, reside in a nursing home or non-state ICF-IDD and who choose to live in a more integrated, less restrictive, community setting.
- Priority #4- eligible individuals who, at the time of referral, receive ID waiver services in a congregate residential setting, such as a group home or a sponsored residential setting, and choose to live in a more integrated, less restrictive, community setting.
- Priority #5- eligible individuals who, at the time of referral, meet the criteria for the wait list for the ID waiver, or meet the criteria for the wait list for the DD waiver, and who choose to live in a more integrated, less restrictive, community setting.
- Priority #6- eligible individuals who, at the time of referral, currently receive ID or DD waiver services in all other settings and choose to live in a more integrated, less restrictive, community setting.