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Housing Assistance for Parents With A Disabled Child

Written by: John Crawford
Last updated: January 30, 2024

People with disabilities and their families value being part of the community and living independently as much as possible. People with disabilities are most independent when they own or rent their homes. Nevertheless, disabled people in the US often face a severe shortage of affordable housing options.

House structures for disabled children need to be tailored to their needs. When a house is built or arranged incorrectly, it can endanger the well-being of disabled children. For low-income families, building or buying a safe home for a disabled child may not be possible. There are, however, various federal and state government housing grants for parents with a disabled child.

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Importance of Housing Grants for Parents with a Disabled Child

Importance of Housing Grants for Parents with a Disabled Child

The housing market is far too restrictive for people with disabilities. Many people are at risk of institutionalization or homelessness if they cannot find affordable, accessible housing in their community. The affordability crisis is affecting people with disabilities across the country.

Nearly 5 million disabled individuals depend on SSI for monthly expenses, making affordable rental housing impossible. 

Additionally, many disabled individuals who are housing insecure depend on aging caregivers (over 60). 

They are more likely to become homeless or institutionalized as their dependent disabled adult children become older and need more care. Specifically, accessible homes for disabled children have features such as removable counters and sinks, wider doorways, and wheelchair-accessible showers. 

Accessible housing can be challenging, if not impossible, or unaffordable for disabled children who need mobility devices. Housing options for disabled people remain scarce relative to the current need, leaving many disabled in institutions, homeless, or living in conditions of severe deprivation

Per the Fair Housing Act, any form of housing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, or nationality is strictly prohibited. Most discrimination complaints lodged with the HUD's Fair Housing Enforcement Office and other monitoring agencies are from people with disabilities. 

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Housing Grants for Parents with Disabled Children

The following programs from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other entities aim to increase accessible housing for people with disabilities.

Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities

The Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program is one of the leading HUD programs aimed at providing housing options in various communities that are both affordable and accessible for extremely low-income disabled, not necessarily elderly individuals. 

In 1997, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was passed to create this grant. The Section 811 Supportive Housing program provides affordable and safe housing for families with disabled children. 

Even though the grant is received by projects that create affordable housing opportunities, the final beneficiaries of these funds are disabled children who lack a safe place to live. Families with low incomes and disabled children are eligible. 

Housing Choice Vouchers

Housing Choice Vouchers available through the HUD offer housing assistance to low-income families, disabled individuals, and the elderly. Children with disabilities are housed by public housing authorities using these vouchers. 

Public housing agencies also award vouchers only to those eligible to receive them. Parents of disabled children must earn 30 percent less than the median income in their area to qualify for the housing grant. 

This limit applies to their families if they live with them. Families and individuals eligible for these vouchers can afford private rental housing. It is estimated that one in three households using Section 8 vouchers is headed by a person who is not elderly but has a disability.

National Housing Trust Fund

A new, dedicated fund called the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) provides grants to states to build, preserve, and renovate housing for people with the lowest incomes in the country. NHTF targets low-income rental housing construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and operation.

Through the passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, NLIHC and its members played a key role in creating the National Housing Trust Fund. A total of $174 million was allocated from the HTF to states in 2016. 

In each subsequent year, more funds have been allocated. Approximately $689.7 million was set aside for 2021. Find information about state-specific allocations and the HTF annual allocation.

Funds from the HTF will be distributed according to the following formula. 

  • 80% of the annual grant is spent on rental housing projects.
  • 10% of the annual grant is to be used for homeownership housing.
  • 10% of the annual grant amount covers the grantee's reasonable administrative and planning costs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What types of housing assistance are available for parents with a disabled child in the US?

Various types of housing assistance for parents with a disabled child in the US, including rental assistance through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, public housing, state and local housing assistance programs, non-profit organizations, and supportive housing programs for individuals with disabilities.

How can I apply for housing assistance for my family with a disabled child?

To apply for housing assistance, start by contacting your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) to inquire about available programs and the application process. You can also visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website to find information about federal housing programs and resources for families with a disabled child.

Are there any eligibility requirements for housing assistance for parents with a disabled child?

Eligibility requirements for housing assistance for parents with a disabled child may vary depending on the specific program. Generally, applicants must meet income limits, provide documentation of their child's disability, and meet any additional criteria specified by the program. Some programs may prioritize families based on factors such as housing need, the severity of the child's disability, or other criteria.

Can I receive housing assistance if my child has a temporary disability?

Eligibility for housing assistance based on a temporary disability depends on the specific program and the nature of the disability. Some programs may require that the disability is expected to last for a certain period or significantly impact the family's housing needs. It is essential to review the specific eligibility requirements for each program before applying.

Are there additional resources available for parents with a disabled child seeking housing assistance?

Additional resources for parents with a disabled child seeking housing assistance may include non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, and state or local disability services agencies. These organizations can provide information, support, and resources to help families navigate the housing assistance process and find suitable housing options for their specific needs.

If you are in need of a scholarship and have disabled parents, you can get a scholarship for students with disabled parents.

Visit the rest of the Gov-Relations to read articles about government and private financial assistance. For single mothers looking to improve their financial and living situation, check our article on hardship grants for single mothers.

John Crawford
John Crawford is a dedicated researcher who has devoted his career to studying the intricacies of government benefits programs and their impact on individuals and communities. Armed with a Ph.D. in Social Policy and a strong analytical mind, John has contributed valuable insights through his extensive research projects. His work informs policymakers, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve social care programs. John's commitment to evidence-based research has made him a respected figure in the field, advocating for more equitable and effective government benefit policies.
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