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People with disabilities and their families value being part of the community and living independently as much as possible. People with disabilities are most independent when they own or rent their homes. Nevertheless, disabled people in the US often face a severe shortage of affordable housing options.
House structures for disabled children need to be tailored to their needs. When a house is built or arranged incorrectly, it can endanger the well-being of disabled children. For low-income families, building or buying a safe home for a disabled child may not be possible. There are, however, various federal and state government housing grants for parents with a disabled child.
For low-income families struggling with harsh weather conditions this winter, read our article on free water heaters for low-income families.
Importance of Housing Grants for Parents with a Disabled Child
The housing market is far too restrictive for people with disabilities. Many people are at risk of institutionalization or homelessness if they cannot find affordable, accessible housing in their community. The affordability crisis is affecting people with disabilities across the country.
Nearly 5 million disabled individuals depend on SSI for monthly expenses, making affordable rental housing impossible.
Additionally, many disabled individuals who are housing insecure depend on aging caregivers (over 60).
They are more likely to become homeless or institutionalized as their dependent disabled adult children become older and need more care. Specifically, accessible homes for disabled children have features such as removable counters and sinks, wider doorways, and wheelchair-accessible showers.
Accessible housing can be challenging, if not impossible, or unaffordable for disabled children who need mobility devices. Housing options for disabled people remain scarce relative to the current need, leaving many disabled in institutions, homeless, or living in conditions of severe deprivation.
Per the Fair Housing Act, any form of housing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, or nationality is strictly prohibited. Most discrimination complaints lodged with the HUD’s Fair Housing Enforcement Office and other monitoring agencies are from people with disabilities.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, check out our blog post on the top 4 scholarships for stay-at-home moms.
Housing Grants for Parents with Disabled Children
The following programs from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other entities aim to increase accessible housing for people with disabilities.
The Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program is one of the leading HUD programs aimed at providing housing options in various communities that are both affordable and accessible for extremely low-income disabled, not necessarily elderly individuals.
In 1997, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was passed to create this grant. The Section 811 Supportive Housing program provides affordable and safe housing for families with disabled children.
Even though the grant is received by projects that create affordable housing opportunities, the final beneficiaries of these funds are disabled children who lack a safe place to live. Families with low incomes and disabled children are eligible.
Housing Choice Vouchers available through the HUD offer housing assistance to low-income families, disabled individuals, and the elderly. Children with disabilities are housed by public housing authorities using these vouchers.
Public housing agencies also award vouchers only to those eligible to receive them. Parents of disabled children must earn 30 percent less than the median income in their area to qualify for the housing grant.
This limit applies to their families if they live with them. Families and individuals eligible for these vouchers can afford private rental housing. It is estimated that one in three households using Section 8 vouchers is headed by a person who is not elderly but has a disability.
A new, dedicated fund called the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) provides grants to states to build, preserve, and renovate housing for people with the lowest incomes in the country. NHTF targets low-income rental housing construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and operation.
Through the passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, NLIHC and its members played a key role in creating the National Housing Trust Fund. A total of $174 million was allocated from the HTF to states in 2016.
In each subsequent year, more funds have been allocated. Approximately $689.7 million was set aside for 2021. Find information about state-specific allocations and the HTF annual allocation.
Funds from the HTF will be distributed according to the following formula.
- 80% of the annual grant is spent on rental housing projects.
- 10% of the annual grant is to be used for homeownership housing.
- 10% of the annual grant amount covers the grantee’s reasonable administrative and planning costs.
Visit the rest of the Gov-Relations to read articles about government and private financial assistance. For single mothers looking to improve their financial and living situation, check our article on hardship grants for single mothers.