December 22, 2010

Affordable Housing for People With Disabilities Passes

Updates Section 811 to encourage development of more supportive housing units

The long journey of H.R. 1675, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009, is nearly over. Introduced in July of 2009 by Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the bill sought to update a national housing statute known as Section 811 that provides for affordable housing for low-income disabled individuals.

Murphy’s office issued a statement about the bill’s passage that cited input from both affordable housing experts and mental health professionals in Connecticut on the need for such housing. The bill is meant to address the lack of affordable housing that provides services for people with disabilities who are capable of living independently.

The bill died in the 110th Congress, but passed the Senate on Dec. 17. On Tuesday the bill passed the House, and will be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

According to Murphy’s office, the bill:

  • Allocates funding to triple the number of supportive housing units built with federal dollars.
  • Speeds up the process by allowing states greater involvement in the approval of projects.
  • Provides incentives for federal supportive housing money to be partnered with state and private money in order to spread federal dollars out to build more supportive housing units.

The bill is named for the late Frank Melville. A longtime resident of northwest Connecticut, Melville was the first chairman of the Melville Charitable Trust, which has provided funding for supportive housing for over 15 years.

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