April 19, 2010
This week, there are two efforts underway in Congress to promote funding for affordable housing options for people living with serious mental illness. Advocates are strongly encouraged to support both:
Help Fight Cuts to HUD Section 811
The Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program is a critical federal program that assists the lowest income people with significant disabilities, including serious mental illness in accessing supportive housing. However, the Obama Administration's proposed budget calls for a temporary suspension of Section 811 capital advance funding for the new development of supportive housing units while certain reforms to the program are made. Without adequate funding, individuals with serious mental illness served by this program could face homelessness, substandard housing, premature placement in nursing homes, or being forced to choose between paying for housing versus other basic needs!
Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter urging the committee with jurisdiction over housing issues to appropriate $300 million for the Section 811 program in fiscal year 2011. Contact your Senators today, and urge them to sign on to this letter in favor of supportive housing!
All Senate offices can be reached by calling 202-224-3121. Urge your Senators to support the Kohl-Schumer letter in support of HUD 202 and 811 funding.
Support Funding for the National Housing Trust Fund
In 2008, Congress authorized the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) as critical source of funding for production of new rental housing units targeted to extremely low-income households, including people living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Two years later, we are still waiting for the initial $1 billion investment in the NHTF to begin producing new affordable rental housing units. President Obama has proposed $1 billion as part of his FY 2011 budget proposal and NAMI is working with a broad coalition of groups to secure this funding this year.
NAMI state and local organizations are strongly encouraged to support this effort by signing on to a letter being organized by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Please note that this sign-on letter is for organizations only, not individuals.