HACA has received 89 additional vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide permanent affordable housing to non-elderly persons with disabilities who are transitioning out of homelessness or congregate living facilities.
This award brings the agency’s total Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) allocation to 148. The Mainstream Voucher Program is a subset of the HCV program (formerly known as Section 8).
“HACA is dedicated to ensuring persons with disabilities and their families have a safe, healthy and affordable place to live,” said HACA President & CEO Michael Gerber. “Working closely with our local partners, we help our residents with special needs live as independently as possible, and provide them with the opportunity to achieve their full potential.”
HACA uses a portion of its Mainstream Vouchers to target at-risk populations with instruction from HUD. To do this, the Austin housing authority collaborates with local organizations including the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), Integral Care, and ARCIL, Inc. on a comprehensive approach that provides subsidized housing vouchers and robust services to help individuals experiencing homelessness get back into safe and stable housing.
“These vouchers help leverage funding for support services so that people once homeless can now afford housing in Austin and have a real shot at maintaining the housing – and healing,” said ECHO Executive Director Ann Howard.
Don Martinez, project director of Home By Choice at ARCIL, Inc. says the Mainstream Voucher Program helps further the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act by helping persons with disabilities live in the most integrated setting.
“Over the years, we have helped hundreds of individuals to transition from institutions back to their communities and families,” Martinez said. “These vouchers are critical.”
Darilynn Cardona-Beiler, Director of Adult Behavioral Health Systems with Integral Care, says the program also encourages partnerships with health and human service agencies with a demonstrated capacity to coordinate voluntary services and supports to enable individuals to live independently in the community.
“When individuals experiencing a disability are able to live independently and have the tools they need to thrive, they’re able to share their unique gifts and talents and make meaningful contributions to our community,” Cardona-Beiler said. “Partners in Travis County are coming together to meet the diverse needs of our population and ensure Austinites have support to reach health and well-being in a safe, stable home.”
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