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Creating New Integrated Permanent Supportive Housing Opportunities For ELI Households: A Vision for the Future of the National Housing Trust Fund

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Innovative State Strategies Consistent with NLIHC Alignment Project, May be Adapted for New National Housing Trust Fund Program

The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) are pleased to announce the release of a new TAC report, Creating New Integrated Permanent Supportive Housing Opportunities for ELI Households:  A Vision for the Future of the National Housing Trust Fund. A companion report, The Alignment Project: Aligning Federal Low Income Housing Programs with Housing Need, was published by NLIHC in December of 2014. Both reports focus on challenges and solutions related to the nation’s critical shortage of affordable rental housing for extremely low income (ELI) households – defined as households with incomes between 0-30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). 

TAC’s report, which was co-authored by Ann O’Hara and Jim Yates, documents innovative ELI financing strategies developed by state housing agencies in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Illinois to expand integrated Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) opportunities for ELI households with disabilities who are living in institutional settings, homeless or most at risk of these circumstances. The PSH approach is a highly cost-effective best practice strategy that combines ELI housing with voluntary community-based support services to assist vulnerable people with disabilities live successfully in the community.

Many ELI households are homeless or living in restrictive and segregated settings for people with disabilities because of the extreme shortage of ELI-PSH housing. NLIHC reports that nationally, there is a shortage of 7.1 million affordable and available ELI rental housing units and that this is a primary cause of homelessness across the United States. TAC’s new report notes that the demand for ELI housing units for use as PSH for people with significant and long-term disabilities has grown significantly during recent years, and clearly illustrates efforts already underway in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Illinois that have broken new ground in ELI housing policy and mirror NLIHC’s recommendations in The Alignment Project report. 

“This report is an important resource as states are hungry to identify strategies to address the affordable housing crisis experienced by those with ELI and disabilities identified in the NLIHC’s Alignment Project,” said Kevin Martone, TAC’s Executive Director.  “The significant ELI outcomes achieved by efforts in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Illinois to better align their state housing policies with ELI-PSH housing needs can and should be replicated by every state’s housing finance agency to address these urgent needs.”

“With funds finally going into the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), we have the opportunity to begin closing the enormous gap between the need for housing among ELI households and the supply,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “We are grateful to TAC for identifying state agencies that are thinking outside of the box to build integrated permanent supportive housing, and for highlighting their successes in this illuminating new report. It is our hope that every state agency tasked with administering the NHTF will use this report as a guide when deciding on the most efficient use of funds.” 

View TAC’s Report

NLIHC’s Alignment Project