Dec 28, 2010

supportive housing for persons with disabilities program,

Congress Enacts Legislation to Reform HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program

December 22, 2010

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force (CCD Housing Task Force) is pleased to announce that the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 was passed by Congress yesterday and will soon be signed into law by President Obama.

This groundbreaking legislation will reinvigorate and modernize the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program that provides critically important affordable housing linked with community-based supportive services for the most vulnerable people with disabilities. By leveraging other sources of capital funding, such as federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the reformed Section 811 program will now fund thousands more units of supportive housing every year and – for the first time – create integrated supportive housing units within affordable housing properties.

The CCD Housing Task Force and the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) led an intensive three-year advocacy effort that culminated yesterday in the House of Representatives. On Friday December 17th, the U.S Senate passed this legislation – S 1481 – by unanimous consent. The House passed a similar bill in 2009 and voted yesterday to adopt the bill passed by the Senate before final adjournment of the 111th Congress.

"This legislation is a significant accomplishment which will improve the lives of thousands more people with the most significant and long-term disabilities” said Andrew Sperling, CCD Housing Task Force Co-Chair. “We are extremely proud to have been a part of this important effort. We are also enormously grateful for the assistance TAC provided in helping to re-configure this important program.”

The CCD Housing Task Force also applauds the bipartisan leadership that made this legislation possible and extends its thanks to the Members of Congress who – along with their staff – helped make this important legislation a reality including:

. Congressman Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL) who were the lead co-sponsors in the House;
• Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Congressman Spencer Bachus (R- AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee;
• Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) who were the lead co-sponsors in the Senate; and
• Senator Christopher Dodd (D- CT) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee.

Section 811 Reforms

The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act makes long overdue improvements to the Section 811 program by:

• Modernizing and simplifying the capital advance program for non-profit sponsors,
• Integrating supportive housing for people with disabilities into larger multi-family affordable rental housing developments,
• Protecting an existing tenant-based program targeted to people with disabilities, and Creating an innovative subsidy approach that will allow states to leverage additional capital funds for the creation of new units of supportive housing.

This important legislation is named in honor of the late Frank Melville, the first Board Chair of the Melville Charitable Trust. Frank Melville and the entire Melville Charitable Trust family have been national leaders in promoting supportive housing as a highly successful and cost effective best practice that can prevent and end unnecessary institutionalization and homelessness among people with the most significant and long-term disabilities.