January 7, 2016

Promoting Community Housing Options

Today’s post, by Mike Hawkins, Managing Director of VHDA's Community Outreach Division, originally appeared in VHDA's Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 30th anniversary of the Virginians with Disabilities Act, VHDA is engaged in an important partnership involving several state agencies and regional teams. The goal is to advance housing options and choice for the Commonwealth’s intellectually and/or developmentally disabled (ID/DD) citizens covered by the 2012 Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Whereas Virginia had previously focused on institutions as the primary approach to serve the ID/DD population, the ADA and subsequent Olmstead decision by the U.S. Supreme Court require a broader array of housing and service options which enable disabled citizens to be more fully integrated into our communities.

VHDA’s Community Outreach Division has supported this movement toward greater choice in several ways:
  • Establishing a set-aside through our Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to serve the ID/DD population while helping create the framework with HUD to leverage the participation of other local HCV programs.
  • Using resources through our Capacity Building program to strengthen the ability of organizations and regional partnerships to foster collaboration among local housing and services providers.
  • Working to design programs funded by VHDA REACH resources that can help identify and enhance housing units to serve the ID/DD population.
Our Community Outreach Report elaborates on these efforts, as well as on the work of VHDA-supported non-profit organizations that promote affordable housing options for people with disabilities.

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