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House Votes to Improve and Expand Supportive Housing for Consumers

HUD Section 811 Funding Boosted by $100 Million, Homeless Programs Increased by $170 Million

July 23, 2009

This week the House of Representatives cleared legislation making important improvements to the HUD Section 811 program, and in a separate move voted to increase funding for the program by $100 million.

Frank Melville Supportive Housing Development Act Passed

By a vote of 376-51, the House of Representatives on July 22 passed legislation to reform and modernize the HUD Section 811 program – a critical affordable housing resource for non-elderly people with disabilities, including serious mental illness.   The bill, known as the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009 (HR 1675), was introduced by Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R– IL). 

HR 1675 is named in honor of the late Frank Melville, a longtime member of NAMI Connecticut, and the first board President of the Melville Charitable Trust – a leading force in promoting supportive housing for people with severe disabilities and ending chronic homelessness.  The bill would reform Section 811 and spur the creation of thousands of new rental housing units by:

  • Authorizing a new Section 811 Demonstration Program to promote more integrated housing opportunities, and
  • Enacting long over-due reforms and improvements to the existing Section 811 production program essential for the program’s long-term viability.

HR 1675 now moves on to the Senate.  Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) have introduced a Senate companion bill (S 1481). 

To learn more about HR 1675 & S 1481, read the  Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities fact sheet on HR 1675, learn more about HR 1675 from the Technical Assistance Collaborative, or view  NAMI’s letter of support for HR 1675.

Congress Moves on FY 2010 HUD Budget

On July 22, the House passed legislation funding housing and transportation for FY 2010.  The bill (HR 3288) includes a $173 million increase for homeless programs under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (boosting funding to $1.85 billion) and a $100 million increase for HUD Section 811 (boosting funding to $350 million).  The Senate is expected to begin work its version of the housing and transportation funding bill next week.

To learn more, click here to view details on proposed FY 2010 funding levels for housing programs targeting people with serious mental illness.