From: SteveGoldADA@cs.com
Message-ID: < 149.27c59e17.2dbfbb70@cs.com  >
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 09:34:40 EDT
Subject: Federal HOME MODIFICATION Funds for Accessibility - #64

Federal HOME MODIFICATION Funds for Accessibility - Information Bulletin # 64
(4/04)

Advocates should know that federal funds are available to achieve
accessibility via home modification. Specifically, under the HUD funded
HOME Investment Partnership Program ("HOME") and the Community Development Block Grant ("CDBG"), federal funds can be allocated and used to implement or expand a home modification program in your communities to increase housing accessibility. These federal funds can be allocated either to home owners or renters who have disabilities.

Both HOME and CDBG funds are allocated annually to cities and counties
which have the requisite number of people. (Your State Housing Agency may
also receive HOME and CDBG funds to allocate to less populated geographic
areas.)

The grantees of HOME and CDBG funds (whether your city, county or State)
have DISCRETION regarding how they will allocate these funds. HUD has
explicitly authorized Home Modification as a reimbursable "rehabilitation"
function under both federal programs.

The decision regarding how these funds are actually allocated is up to
your local and/or State officials - and you. As you know, the public
officials must develop a Consolidated Plan listing how these funds will be
used. Therefore, if disability advocates want and need a Home Modification
program in their communities, you must be active players in your local
Consolidated Plan process.

You must understand the politics of and become active in your Consolidated
Plan development and allocation. Remember that the officials hold two
public hearings a year before the Consolidated Plan can be approved or
implemented! My bet is that in most areas of the country, the disability
community has not made either their voices or their needs heard in this
process.

These public hearings present a great opportunity for organizing, and you
can WIN. You can have a Home Modification program so persons with
disabilities can remain in their own homes and apartments and not be
unnecessarily institutionalized.

If your local and/or State housing officials don't believe these funds can
be used for Home Modification to achieve accessibility, you should cite 24
Code of Federal Regulations section 92.206(a)(2) (HOME funds may be used
"to make essential improvements, including... improvements necessary to
permit use by persons with disabilities") and 24 Code of Federal
Regulations section 570.202(b)(11) (CDBG funds may be used for
"improvements designed to remove...  architectural barriers that restrict
the mobility and accessibility of ... disabled persons.")

(For low-income persons in rural areas, the USDA's Rural Housing Service
provides up to $7,500 to make a dwelling accessible; contact your
Rural
Development County
Supervisor. A separate USDA/RHS Information Bulletin
will come out shortly.)

Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues Back issues of related HOME
and CDBG Information Bulletins (see ## 14, 16, 51,52, 60 and 61) are
available online at http://www.stevegoldada.com with a searchable Archive
at this site.

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Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues
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