The lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing remains one of the most significant barriers to people with disabilities who want to leave institutions and transition to community living. However, HUD addresses this issue incrementally, without putting significant efforts into new policies and resources that could have real impact on expanding housing opportunities for people with disabilities.
While HUD has developed a process for states to address the housing needs of individuals who are moving to the community through settlement agreements, ADAPT insists that greater leeway to create across the board opportunities for people with disabilities is currently needed. Although this process simplifies the internal systems at HUD, it still requires advocates to address this issue individually with housing authorities, of which there are thousands across the United States. This amounts to a huge barrier to securing affordable, accessible and integrated housing.
Failure to remove this barrier to affordable, accessible and integrated housing has resulted in elderly and Disabled Americans being denied their most fundamental rights to Life, Liberty and Freedom through unwanted institutionalization.
ADAPT demands that HUD Secretary Ben Carson:
- Include $425 million in the HUD budget for a new round of Section 811 Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as Mainstream Vouchers) targeted to serve individuals with disabilities transitioning out of nursing facilities and other institutions as well as individuals with disabilities at risk of institutionalization;
- Develop a package of pre-approved policies, procedures and other necessary documentation that housing authorities can simply adopt in order to implement preferences or set-asides for people with disabilities seeking community living; and
- Develop and distribute guidance that individuals with disabilities who are seeking to leave institutions and live in the community must be granted reasonable accommodations that allow them to transition to the community, including modification of the allowable subsidy, unit size, and status on waiting list so they can receive the next available voucher.