Washington state vouchers open for "section 8" housing

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Mike Smith
staff attorney

Washington State has received 275 new Award Housing Vouchers from HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) on February 13, 2013 in a $5,580,280 grant.  The vouchers will benefit people with extremely low-incomes and are targeted to people transitioning out of institutional settings or at high risk of homelessness.  HUD noted that "today's announcement reinforces the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the landmark 1999 Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., which require state and local governments to provide services in the most integrated settings appropriate to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities."  These vouchers are intended to help states “reduce health care costs, improving quality of life for persons with disabilities, and ending homelessness as we know it,” says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. 

In Washington State, the state Department of Commerce, Department of Social and Health Services, Health Care Authority and Housing Finance Commission worked to develop the Washington Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, which will create 275 units of integrated permanent supportive housing for persons with disabilities. The target populations under the Section 811 PRA Demo are particularly vulnerable extremely low-income persons with disabilities that receive or are eligible to receive long term services and supports through DSHS, as well as eligible individuals currently enrolled in the Roads to Community Living Project, which includes persons with significant developmental, functional, or cognitive disabilities.  In addition, this grant will assist in achieving the administration’s 10-year goal of ending homelessness. Seattle has been identified as having one of the country’s highest chronically homeless populations.  

HUD press release announcing the new vouchers