William Wayne Justice Center Joins UT Center for Disability Studies to help state agencies apply for HUD funds

The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and the UT Center for Disability Studies have completed the first phase of their work to assist the Texas state housing finance and Medicaid agencies in an application for federal funding available through the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Act of 2010. The Act resulted in significant changes to federal law governing housing for persons with disabilities, incentivizing states to develop new and innovative ways to support persons with disabilities in integrated environments. States will compete for a total of $85 million made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Justice Center’s chief contribution to the project has been to draft an interagency agreement designed to facilitate the provision of intensive support services to persons with disabilities living in housing units to be developed by private developers using Melville funds. The agreement was drafted in cooperation with several key state agencies—the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), the Health and Human Services Commission, the Department on Aging and Disability Services, the Department of Family and Protective Services, and the Department of State Health Services. TDHCA has submitted the agreement to HUD as evidence of the state’s commitment, if funded, to serve persons with disabilities in integrated apartment complexes located close to transportation and other amenities.  Targeted populations include persons with disabilities currently living in institutions, persons with serious mental illness, and youth with significant disabilities aging out of foster care.

The proposed project and implementation plan, including the interagency agreement, were recently submitted to HUD.  The Justice Center’s work on the project was spearheaded by Lucille Wood, Research Fellow with the Justice Center, in partnership with the Center for Disability Studies and De Mayo Associates. The work was funded by a TDHCA grant.

Contact: Lucille Wood, Research Fellow, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, lwood@law.utexas.edu, 512-232-6277

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