WASHINGTON, October 26, 2007 – It will soon be easier for thousands of senior citizens and people with disabilities to find affordable housing, thanks to more than $643 million in housing assistance grants announced today by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
“This Administration is committed to making sure our senior citizens and people with disabilities have opportunities to find decent housing that they can afford,” said Jackson. “Neither group should ever have to worry about being able to find a safe place to live.”
Section 202 Grants ($518.9 million nationwide to assist very low-income elderly)
HUD’s Section 202 grants program helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. It provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking, and transportation.
In addition to funding the construction and rehabilitation of projects to create apartments, HUD Section 202 grants will subsidize rents for three years so that residents will pay only 30 percent of their adjusted incomes as rent.
To be eligible for the assistance a household must be classified as “very low- income,” which means an income less than 50 percent of the area median. Nationally, based on 50 percent of the national median family income with an applicable adjustment for household size, a one-person household would need to have an income equal to or less than $20,850 a year.
Section 811 Grants ($124.8 million nationwide to assist very low-income people with disabilities) This program allows persons with disabilities to live independently in their communities by increasing the supply of rental housing with the availability of supportive services. Residents will pay 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent and the federal government will pay the rest.
The grants are awarded under HUD’s Section 811 program, which provides housing for households with one or more very low-income individuals, at least one of whom is at least 18 years old and has a disability, such as a physical or developmental disability or chronic mental illness. The term “person with disabilities” also includes two or more people with disabilities living together, and one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in attendants.
To be classified as “very low-income,” a household income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. However, most households that receive Section 811 assistance have an income less than 30 percent of the area median. Generally, this means that a one-person household will have an annual income of about $12,550.
HUD provides the Section 202 and Section 811 funds to non-profits in two forms:
Capital advances. This is money that covers the cost of developing the housing. It does not need to be repaid as long as the housing is available for at least 40 years for occupancy by very low-income seniors (under Section 202) or very low-income people with disabilities (under Section 811).
Project rental assistance. This is money that goes to each non-profit group to cover the difference between the residents’ contributions toward rent and the cost of operating the project.
NOTE: State-by-state breakdown of individual grant summaries is available on the HUD website.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.