On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, HUD issued guidelines to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to identify and clarify ways in which PHAs can assist people with disabilities to find safe, decent and affordable housing under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. This notice is in response to President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative and the Executive Order “Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals With Disabilities.HUD’s implementation suggestions to PHAs include allowing a longer search term for people with disabilities, providing referral services, providing housing search assistance and cooperating with other governmental agencies.
This notice also offers clarification to PHAs administering special purpose vouchers for people with disabilities (i.e. “Designated” vouchers, “Certain Developments” vouchers and “Mainstream” vouchers). Specifically, a PHA must issue the number of vouchers that they were originally awarded to families in the target population defined by the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Furthermore, the notice states that “these vouchers, to the extent practicable, must continue to be issued to non-elderly disabled families upon turnover. To the “extent practicable” means that all non-elderly disabled families on a PHA’s waiting list have been issued these turnover vouchers, and PHA outreach efforts specifically directed to non-elderly disabled families has yielded no eligible applicants.”
The notice provides guidance on special housing types, definition of a “family”, exception payment standards and earned income disallowance.
Until recently, no HUD program guidance on these vouchers set aside for people with disabilities had been issued by HUD other than the original Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs), some of which were published as far back as 1997.
For more information, see the following links:
HUD’s Press Release
HUD’s Guidelines Full Text
Opening Doors Issue 25, “Section 8 Problems Negatively Affect People with Disabilities”