Federal Initiatives

Housing Capacity Building Initiative for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living is committed to expanding the availability and accessibility of housing options that keep individuals with disabilities and older adults living in the community. Along with health, shelter is among the most basic human needs. If people can’t live in homes that meet their individual needs, they lack a vital element of independence.

The President’s Year of Community Living called for, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to change this dynamic by building an unprecedented partnership at the federal level, and bringing together housing and human services agencies on the state and local levels. Following the lead of Secretaries Sebelius and Donovan, our departments meet regularly (with Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and Administration for Community Living representing HHS) and have identified and implemented a number of strategies to address this pressing need.

Highlights to date include:

  • Issuance of 5300 Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Housing Vouchers since 2010 including 948 specifically aligned with transition to community based long-term services and supports and implementing policies to ensure NED vouchers reach those for whom they are intended.
  • HUD has issued guidance, Public and Indian Housing (PIH) 2011-32 (HA) to ensure standard policies and procedures for issuing, tracking and monitoring Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) vouchers to ensure that vouchers that were previously issued reach and serve precisely the Non elderly disabled populations for which they were intended.
  • Reforming the Section 811 Program to provide for better and more diversified funding under the new Project Rental Authority, resulting in coordination between state Medicaid and state housing agencies, as well as more integrated housing and housing that better reflects the needs and preferences of consumers of LTSS with disabilities.
  • Reclaiming Non Elderly Disabled Vouchers: HUD has issued guidance to local housing authorities requiring them to identify vouchers that were previously assigned to serve non-elderly persons with disabilities that may have been lost over the years.
  • Fair Housing Guidance: HUD’s fair housing agency issued a memorandum to staff, underscoring how they should support HUD’s prioritization of transition of people with disabilities from institutional to community settings as a part of their assigned responsibilities to “affirmatively further fair housing” as a part of the agency’s oversight and enforcement work. It has also issued a letter to Georgia identifying ways that the state can prioritize persons with disabilities who are transitioning from institutional settings to facilitate its compliance with an Olmstead settlement with the US Department of Justice.
  • Real Choice Systems Change Grants: In September 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an award of $1.98 million to six states to develop sustainable partnerships with State Housing Agencies. These grants will result in long-term strategies to provide permanent and affordable rental housing for persons with disabilities who receive Medicaid Services.
  • Joint Guidance: CMS and HUD issued parallel guidance to increase awareness of how public housing authorities and state Medicaid agencies can work together and leverage resources to facilitate transition of persons with disabilities to community settings
  • LGBT Elder Housing Summit: HUD, the Administration on Aging (now part of ACL), and the National Center for Lesbian Rights co-hosted a summit to bring together advocates and practitioners from across the country to highlight existing barriers, as well as explore future possibilities for promoting current efforts to support housing and long-term care designed for LGBT elders.
  • Low-Income Adults Demonstration: The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), in partnership with HUD and the Administration on Aging (AOA), engaged the Lewin Group and its sub-contractors, Leading Age Center for Applied Research, the Moran Company, and Mary Harahan to develop design options for a demonstration of publicly assisted rental housing coordinated with health and long-term care services and supports for low-income older adults. View the report.

Key Links and Resources

Last Modified: 7/1/2015