Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities

Why the Program is Needed

People with disabilities face a housing crisis across the United States. Nearly 4.5 million Americans with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have incomes less than $8,500 per year – low enough to be priced out of every rental housing market in the nation.1  In 2010, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $785 per month – far higher than $703, the average monthly SSI income for a non-institutionalized person living independently. The unmet housing needs of people with I/DD are further reflected in the nearly 123,000 people with I/DD who are on formal state waiting lists for residential services in the U.S., the over 700,000 who live with an aging caregiver (age 60 or older), and the thousands who live in institutions but would prefer to live in the community.2

What it Does

Section 811 is the only federal program dedicated to creating affordable, accessible housing for low-income non-elderly people with the most serious disabilities to help them live independently in the community. Historically, it has provided capital dollars to nonprofits for housing development, as well as funding for ongoing rent subsidies to make housing affordable to people who receive SSI.  In 2012, the new Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration (PRAD) will provide funding to directly to state housing agencies that meet new eligibility criteria, including having a partnership with a state health and human services and Medicaid agency to provide essential supports and services. The new Section 811 PRAD housing is integrated and is linked with voluntary supports and services. PRAD funds will be used to set aside apartments within larger affordable housing developments for supportive housing for extremely low income people with significant disablities.

Authorizing Legislation

Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8013); Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-374).

Recent Funding

$165 million in 2012
$150 million in 2011

For More Information

1 Priced Out in 2010: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities. Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. and Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force, June 2011.

2 Braddock, D. et al. (2011). The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities. University of Colorado.