Help LHA Advocate to Increase Access to Housing for People with I/DD

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the housing insecurity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Many in this community who have been historically denied access to safe, stable, and affordable housing were then faced with a new challenge: comply with the “Safer at Home” public health mandate while living in inadequate, unhealthy, or overcrowded housing conditions. Some even found themselves homeless during this unprecedented crisis.

Still, it’s a growing problem that’s being largely ignored in policy discussions statewide around housing. And while California has a robust service system for people with I/DD, too often affordable housing access is left out of the conversation. 

That’s why the Lanterman Housing Alliance (LHA) is rallying our stakeholders to ensure that people with I/DD can access housing systems more effectively. There are more than 350,000 individuals with I/DD living in California—and many of them are direly in need of housing options due to aging parents, wanting to live more independently, or the closure of licensed group homes—resulting in an extreme statewide housing shortage. Here’s what we can do together to increase access to affordable and appropriate housing for the I/DD community:

Call for policies and funding to help people with I/DD find housing. Let your elected officials know that increasing housing access for this community is an issue we all need to get behind.
Take action by sharing our post via email and on social media. Help increase awareness of this issue and educate friends, family, and allies. 
Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date information and news.

There are a lot of ways we can support people with I/DD with housing access, including helping people with I/DD find affordable housing, pay rent and security deposits, move into a property, set up utilities, communicate with landlords, and advocate for their housing needs. All these services are necessary to secure housing. These services must be provided—fully funded—and maintained within existing service systems. Most importantly, new pilot projects of rent subsidy programs should be developed or expanded to ensure people with I/DD are quickly able to access the increasingly competitive rental units available in their communities. 

Thank you for taking action on this important issue, and for letting elected officials, friends, families, and allies know that access to housing makes all the difference for people with I/DD. 

Have you had trouble getting affordable housing?

California does not have enough affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing. With the closing of developmental centers and a decrease in the number of congregate settings, California needs to invest in community-based integrated housing for people with disabilities.

The Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) is one of the largest funding sources in California for affordable housing. Despite the intention to include people with disabilities, there are no specific incentives for developers to include housing for people with disabilities in their projects.

The MHP Public Comment period is open now until May 5th at 5pm, and SCDD has made it easy for you to tell your housing story: https://bit.ly/housingcomments.

Tell the Department of Housing and Community Development that MHP guidelines should reflect the unmet housing needs of people with disabilities and support housing developments that serve people with disabilities.

Yolo County Housing Commission approves the postponement of the opening of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) programs waitlists

On April 15, 2020, the Yolo County Housing Commission approved the postponement of the opening of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project Based Voucher (PBV) programs wait for lists, with the exception of the PBV waitlist for Eleanor Roosevelt Circle, a senior complex located in Davis,California, for persons age 62 and older. 

The postponement was approved considering that opening the HCV and PBV waitlists during COVID-19 local, state and federal shelter-in-place orders could create a disparate impact on individuals and families that do not have access to the internet through a computer or smartphone in their homes or require extra assistance with the application process.

Staff evaluated the number of applicants currently on the Housing Choice Voucher and the Project Based Voucher waitlists.  Although the numbers are low, there are enough applicants to postpone the opening of the waitlists for four to six months with the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt Circle. As of now, there are only three applicants on this waitlist.  This limited number of applicants will impact staff in being able to fill a PBV vacancy when it becomes available.  Opening this waitlist is critical to continuing to house vulnerable, extremely low-income seniors going forward.

Applications for Eleanor Roosevelt PBV senior complex will be accepted online only, at www.ych.ca.gov,  beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 8:00am and accepting applications until either Thursday, May 8, 2020, or until the CEO determines that a sufficiency number of applications have been received to be served within a five (5) year period.

The application can be found at www.ych.ca.gov by clicking on the red house icon that says: “Apply for Public Housing” and on the link located on the right-hand side, on the middle of the webpage, that says “Apply for Housing”; in this area, the application can be found in English, Spanish and Russian.

Yolo County Housing Choice Voucher Wait List Opening

Yolo County wait list for Housing Choice Voucher program will open as on-line only. April 21 to April 30, 2020.

Once again, applications will be accepted online only. Applicants may apply from any device with Internet access, at any time during this period, at our website www.ych.ca.gov

We will have a workshop to preview the application in April; we will send the specific date and time later. If COVID-19 is still active by then, we might have to do a webinar or send you the link to practice. The wait list may close earlier, at  our CEO’s discretion if we receive a large amount of applications.