Legislative Agenda for the First Session of the 111th Congress

Housing

Therefore, the 111th Congress must increase the supply of affordable and accessible housing options that are integrated in the community, including home ownership and rental housing, to meet the growing unmet needs of people with disabilities and their families by:

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    • Significantly increasing funding for, and protecting the integrity of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs such as the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Community Development Block Grant program and increase funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture housing programs as well as all other federal housing programs providing funding for people with disabilities;
    • Providing funding to address the need for safe, affordable and accessible housing for individuals with disabilities due to weather related emergencies and the housing foreclosure and finance crisis;
    • Providing increased funding for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund with deeply targeted eligibility criteria to increase the availability of affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities; 
    • Reforming and restructuring the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program using proven “best practice” models to increase the number of units created, improve leveraging of other affordable housing funding streams, and develop a range of appropriately sized and integrated permanent housing opportunities;
    • Opposing efforts to limit housing options, including efforts to weaken fair housing protections; 
    • Removing barriers that prevent people from renting or buying their own homes, through:
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        • simplifying programs;
        • ensuring appropriate fair-market rents; 
        • eliminating discrimination based on source of income (such as SSI);
        • permitting people to acquire assets;
        • providing funding to educate and train public housing authorities and service providers on the housing needs of people with disabilities; 
        • ensuring that non-profit disability organizations can administer tenant-based rental assistance; and
        • ensuring fairness and equity.
    • Enacting legislation requiring newly constructed, federally assisted housing, to incorporate universal design and visitability standards (elements that afford accessibility to at least a dwelling’s first floor);
    • Requiring that projects developed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit apply design standards identical to those in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
    • Providing oversight of HUD’s management of housing programs to ensure that they meet the housing needs of people with disabilities.