U.S. Senators are signing on to letters to Senate leadership in support of
their 2019 budget priorities. NAMI’s priorities are the subject of several of
Today, we need your help to support housing
safe and stable place to call home is critical to recovery for people with
mental illness. Yet, many people with severe mental health conditions have
limited or no income and cannot afford housing.
federal rental assistance and other affordable housing programs, many people
with severe mental health conditions face homelessness and incarceration.
“My 24-year-old son,
who has schizophrenia, has subsidized housing. There is staff on-site 24/7. It
means he can live independently, but there is always help available if he needs
it. It means that my husband and I can run our small business without having to
worry about him constantly.” -Teresa, Maine
You can help.
Ask your U.S. Senators to sign onto Senator Robert
Menendez’s (D-NJ) letter in support of federal housing programs that help
people with mental illness get back on their feet, into treatment and on the
path to recovery.
Act today. The
deadline for your Senators to sign-on is Monday, April 16.
Below is Senator
Menendez’s sign-on letter:
to leaders of the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban
Development, and Related Agencies
Dear Chair Collins and Ranking Member
As you consider the Fiscal Year 2019
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
appropriations bill, we urge you to support the Department of Housing and Urban
Development’s (HUD) Section 202 and 811 programs for seniors and persons with
disabilities. We respectfully request:
$619 million for renewal funding and $210 million for capital advance and
project-based rental assistance awards for the Section 202 Housing for the
Elderly program; and $313 million for the Section 811 Housing for Persons with
Disabilities program, to include $83 million for project rental assistance
awards. Section 202 and 811 funding
supports the development of new housing and the continuation of rental
assistance for very low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. We are grateful for the Committee’s funding
increases for both programs in Fiscal Year 2018.
Section 202 provides a sensible and
necessary approach to meeting our nation’s growing affordable housing needs for
seniors. As HUD’s most recent Worst Case
Housing Needs Report finds, 1.47 million very low-income elderly households are
paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent. Moreover, according to the Bipartisan Policy
Center’s Healthy Aging Begins at Home report, the number of Americans aged 65
and older is expected to more than double by 2030 and Americans over the age of
85 make up the fastest-growing age group in the United States.
By leveraging other funding sources,
combining affordable housing with access to supportive services, and focusing
on the most vulnerable segments of the population, the Section 202 program
helps more seniors to live independently and age in place. To date, Section 202 has helped produce
nearly 400,000 homes for low-income seniors.
We believe that continued investment in low-income affordable housing
for the elderly is both cost-effective and critical to ensuring seniors can
live in supportive, decent, and affordable housing.
HUD’s Section 811 Housing for Persons
with Disabilities program targets vulnerable persons with disabilities who need
affordable housing in order to effectively access community-based support and
services. Without Section 811 housing,
HUD reports that many of those served by the program would be forced to live in
an institution, with aging parents, in a homeless shelter, or on the
streets. According to HUD’s Worst Case
Housing Needs Report, about one in seven renters with “worst case” housing
needs – meaning they had incomes below half of the median in their area and
paid more than half their monthly incomes in rent, lived in severely
substandard conditions, or both – included a nonelderly person with
disabilities. This funding level will
allow the Department to renew all current rental assistance as well as fund new
project rental assistance awards supporting affordable units for persons with
Federal investments in affordable
housing for the nation’s most vulnerable holds promise for significantly
reducing Medicaid and Medicare costs while also providing low-income elderly
the opportunity to age in place and persons with disabilities the opportunity
to live in the most integrated setting possible.
As Congress makes difficult decisions
about our nation’s budget, we encourage you to continue bipartisan support of
protecting our most needy and vulnerable populations. We thank you for your attention and