HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits First 811 PRA Property
On April 29, 2015, Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, Benjamin Metcalf, visited Garden Village in Sacramento, CA – the first property in the nation to move residents into apartments supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) Program.
For people with disabilities across the nation, including the 1.1 million renters with disabilities who pay 50% or more of their income for rent or live in substandard housing, the over 1 million nonelderly people with disabilities living in institutions and those who are chronically homeless, California Housing Finance Agency’s (CalHFA) announcement of the lease-up of the first 811 PRA units is more than welcome. Last month, eleven non-elders with disabilities moved from costly nursing facilities into their own one- and two bedroom apartments in Sacramento.
The PRA Program provides rental assistance to private housing developments that agree to lease units to non-elders with disabilities in certain target populations such as persons exiting institutions and those who are homeless. The program makes available community-based supports that tenants can choose to take advantage of such as personal care assistance and mental health counseling. Congress created the Program in 2010 through the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act.
To date, HUD has awarded $218 million to 28 states and the District of Columbia. Using these funds, states expect to create over 7,500 permanent supportive housing units over the next four years. Forty-three of the 50 states have applied for these funds, indicating a strong interest in this innovative cost-effective model.