State of Ohio Receives $11.9 Million Grant to Expand Affordable Housing Options to Ohioans with Disabilities and Extremely Low Incomes

Ohio 811 Project Rental Assistance Program to supply more than 500 units of housing

COLUMBUS – March 4, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — In an effort to provide more affordable housing choices and prevent Ohioans with disabilities from being institutionalized or facing homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) $11.9 million of new federal funding to support a five-year rental assistance program.

“Persons with disabilities often lack the resources to find safe, decent and affordable housing,” said Doug Garver, executive director of OHFA. “This grant will support eligible Ohioans in acquiring independent housing and ensure they have access to the supportive services they request.”

OHFA, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), will administer rental assistance contracts for 508 housing units and coordinate supportive services for households which earn 30 percent less than the area median income, and have at least one person who suffers from physical disabilities, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, or chronic mental illness. ODM, with assistance from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), will create and maintain a referral network to match persons in need with available housing units throughout the state.

“Ohio Medicaid is committed to creating new, lasting opportunities for individuals to receive services inside the home,” said John McCarthy, director of ODM. “This award will help in bolstering that work and promoting independence in long-term care.”

OHFA will provide rental subsidy to eligible property owners previously awarded Housing Tax Credits or allocated new Housing Tax Credits in the next funding round. Multifamily developments will be required to reserve up to 25 percent of the units for persons with disabilities. Approximately 60 percent of the units will be located in Ohio’s most populous areas including Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Stark and Summit counties. The remaining 40 percent will be distributed throughout the state based on the availability of units.

The collaborative initiative between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will prevent thousands of individuals with disabilities from being institutionalized or possibly becoming homeless. HUD awarded $150 million in rental assistance to 25 state housing agencies as a part of the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program. HUD predicts the funds will provide permanent affordable rental housing and supportive services to nearly 4,600 households nationwide.

“Everyone needs a stable home to call their own, especially persons with disabilities who can live on their own yet are at risk of becoming homeless,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro in a news release. “These grants will provide real opportunity by cutting health care costs for states while allowing folks to live as independently as possible.”

Ohio’s program is slated to start at the beginning of 2016.

For more information regarding affordable housing programs, please contact OHFA at 888-362-6432.

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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state’s foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.

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OHFA utilizes federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to create, preserve, and manage affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. The Agency is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven-member board, nine of whom are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Two additional seats on the board, by statute, are reserved for the Director of Development and the Director of Commerce or their designees, and both serve as ex officio voting members

Contact:

Erin Biehl
Phone: 614-387-2863

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