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Federal Housing Issues and Programs Impacting State Mental Health Systems Ann O’Hara Technical Assistance Collaborative NASMHPD Winter 2004 Commissioners.

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Housing Issues and Programs Impacting State Mental Health Systems Ann O’Hara Technical Assistance Collaborative NASMHPD Winter 2004 Commissioners."— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Housing Issues and Programs Impacting State Mental Health Systems Ann O’Hara Technical Assistance Collaborative NASMHPD Winter 2004 Commissioners Meeting December 7, 2004

2 2 Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) TAC works to expand decent, safe, and affordable housing and support services opportunities for people with mental illness and other disabilities TAC works to expand decent, safe, and affordable housing and support services opportunities for people with mental illness and other disabilities TAC focuses on the nation’s affordable housing “delivery system” and how it should respond to the housing needs of people with disabilities TAC focuses on the nation’s affordable housing “delivery system” and how it should respond to the housing needs of people with disabilities

3 3 Housing 101: Understanding the Problem Housing needs and housing affordability affected by two interrelated factors Housing needs and housing affordability affected by two interrelated factors –Income of the household –Cost of housing People with mental illness have extremely low incomes People with mental illness have extremely low incomes People with mental illness need housing assistance from government housing programs People with mental illness need housing assistance from government housing programs

4 4 TAC Priced Out Studies Priced Out studies released for 1998, 2000, and 2002 Priced Out studies released for 1998, 2000, and 2002 Compares SSI income to housing costs Compares SSI income to housing costs –Nationally –By state –Locally in 2,702 housing market areas Documents a severe housing crisis for people with disabilities with low incomes Documents a severe housing crisis for people with disabilities with low incomes New Priced Out in 2004 to be released in 2005 New Priced Out in 2004 to be released in 2005

5 5 Priced Out Findings SSI means extreme poverty SSI means extreme poverty SSI income equal to 18 percent of median income SSI income equal to 18 percent of median income Average one-bedroom rent is percent of SSI Average one-bedroom rent is percent of SSI Average studio rent is 89 percent of SSI Average studio rent is 89 percent of SSI SSI equivalent to earning $3.43 per hour SSI equivalent to earning $3.43 per hour Rents rising twice as fast as SSI cost-of-living adjustments Rents rising twice as fast as SSI cost-of-living adjustments People with disabilities are 3 times more likely to have incomes below 30 percent of median income People with disabilities are 3 times more likely to have incomes below 30 percent of median income

6 6 SSI Income Median Income 50% of Median Income SSI Benefits - 18% of Median Income

7 7 “Affordable Housing” vs. “Subsidized Housing” “Affordable housing” = Rents are below market rent “Affordable housing” = Rents are below market rent –Market rent = $700 per month –“Affordable” rent = $600 per month “Subsidized housing” means tenants pay only 30 percent of income for rent “Subsidized housing” means tenants pay only 30 percent of income for rent SSI recipients pay about $160 per month in subsidized housing SSI recipients pay about $160 per month in subsidized housing Only subsidized housing provides an on-going subsidy needed to close “housing affordability gap” for people with mental illness Only subsidized housing provides an on-going subsidy needed to close “housing affordability gap” for people with mental illness

8 8 Key Issues Most subsidized housing programs are federally funded (i.e. HUD) Most subsidized housing programs are federally funded (i.e. HUD) Recent federal policy emphasis on “affordable housing” rather than “subsidized housing” Recent federal policy emphasis on “affordable housing” rather than “subsidized housing” “Elderly only” housing policies reducing supply of subsidized housing for people with disabilities “Elderly only” housing policies reducing supply of subsidized housing for people with disabilities HUD subsidized housing budget targeted HUD subsidized housing budget targeted Proposals to fundamentally alter HUD-subsidized housing programs Proposals to fundamentally alter HUD-subsidized housing programs Proposals would hurt people with mental illness and others receiving SSI Proposals would hurt people with mental illness and others receiving SSI

9 9 HUD Subsidized Programs Important to People with Mental Illness HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program HUD McKinney-Vento Supportive Housing Programs for Homeless People with Disabilities HUD McKinney-Vento Supportive Housing Programs for Homeless People with Disabilities

10 10 Section 8 Voucher Program At Risk Section 8 is the most important HUD subsidy program Section 8 is the most important HUD subsidy program Assists 2 million households Assists 2 million households Assists 440,000 disabled households – majority are likely to be people with mental illness Assists 440,000 disabled households – majority are likely to be people with mental illness Federal government has proposed to dismantle Section 8 by: Federal government has proposed to dismantle Section 8 by: –Cutting Section 8 spending –Converting Section 8 to a block grant Block grant would negatively affect people with mental illness receiving Section 8 and waiting for Section 8 Block grant would negatively affect people with mental illness receiving Section 8 and waiting for Section 8 Current HUD policy implemented in 2004 already causing problems for people with mental illness Current HUD policy implemented in 2004 already causing problems for people with mental illness Strong advocacy effort needed to preserve and expand Section 8 Strong advocacy effort needed to preserve and expand Section 8

11 11 Negative Affects of Proposed Block Grant Proposed cut of $1.6 billion equal to 12 percent of Section 8 budget Proposed cut of $1.6 billion equal to 12 percent of Section 8 budget Could have eliminated 250,000 vouchers now in use Could have eliminated 250,000 vouchers now in use No extremely low-income targeting No extremely low-income targeting Program re-directed towards higher income households to save money Program re-directed towards higher income households to save money Increased rents for tenants Increased rents for tenants Flexibility to local Public Housing Agencies to set policies Flexibility to local Public Housing Agencies to set policies Elimination of 62,000 vouchers now targeted by Congress exclusively for people with disabilities Elimination of 62,000 vouchers now targeted by Congress exclusively for people with disabilities

12 12 Negative Affects of HUD 2004 Policies 2004 cuts already affecting people with disabilities 2004 cuts already affecting people with disabilities –Increased tenant rents –Decrease in HUD Fair Market Rents –More landlords reluctant to use program –Thousands of vouchers not being re-issued to people on waiting lists –Supportive housing for chronically homeless people stalled

13 13 Section 8 Vouchers and State Mental Health Systems Key resource for emerging housing “best practices” in mental health Key resource for emerging housing “best practices” in mental health –State mental health funded “Bridge subsidies” linked to Section 8 –Permanent supportive housing intended to end chronic homelessness financed with Section 8 –People with mental illness who have Section 8

14 14 Other Key HUD Supportive Housing Programs HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program –Has provided 2,500 new subsidized units per year for people with disabilities –Funding being cut HUD’s McKinney-Vento permanent supportive housing programs for homeless people with disabilities HUD’s McKinney-Vento permanent supportive housing programs for homeless people with disabilities –Has provided 10,000 new units of supportive housing per year –Funding being cut

15 15 State Mental Health Agencies: “Best Practices” in Housing Much has been accomplished and more could be done if these programs are preserved and expanded Much has been accomplished and more could be done if these programs are preserved and expanded –Ohio –Washington, DC –Hawaii –California –Connecticut Accomplishments could be jeopardized Accomplishments could be jeopardized Effects of Section 8 problems now and in future Effects of Section 8 problems now and in future

16 16 What is Needed Importance of housing knowledge, capacity, and “up to the minute” information Importance of housing knowledge, capacity, and “up to the minute” information Strong advocacy effort Strong advocacy effort –Governor –State housing officials –Federal officials NASMHPD’s role with CCD Housing Task Force NASMHPD’s role with CCD Housing Task Force Cross disability strategies at state and local level Cross disability strategies at state and local level Data on need and best practices to reinforce policy positions Data on need and best practices to reinforce policy positions Technical assistance Technical assistance

17 17 TAC Information and Advocacy Tools NASMHPD/TAC Partnership NASMHPD/TAC Partnership TAC’s publications TAC’s publications TAC website TAC website us at us at Weekly housing policy updates from National Low Income Housing Coalition Weekly housing policy updates from National Low Income Housing Coalition More Section 8 info at Center for Budget and Policy Priorities More Section 8 info at Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Other partners: National Alliance to End Homelessness, Corporation for Supportive Housing, NAMI, NCCBH Other partners: National Alliance to End Homelessness, Corporation for Supportive Housing, NAMI, NCCBH


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