National Alliance on Mental Illness
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 New HCFA Grant Initiative to Improve Community Services

For Immediate Release, June 14, 2001
Contact: Chris Marshall

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has launched a new grant initiative called "Systems Change Grants for Community Living." HCFA's goal is to improve community services for children and adults of any age who have a disability, including persons disabled due to a severe mental illness.

HCFA seeks applications from state governments and other entities and is encouraging states to develop applications in partnership with their state disability and aging communities. NAMI state organizations and affiliates may want to contact their state or county mental health authority to participate in development of an application. Centers for independent living may also be particularly interested in this program. The initiative's services are meant to be available to persons with psychiatric disabilities. Approximately 65 million dollars is allocated to this effort. Applications are due in July 2001.

The HCFA Notice of Funding Availability was published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2001. For more information, please go to the HCFA Web site at

There are four distinct grant opportunities:

- Nursing Facility Transition grants. Approximately $12-$15 million is available to help people transition from institutional living arrangements to community-integrated settings. Also, 400 or more Section 8 HUD vouchers will be available for eligible no-elderly individuals with a disability.

- Community-integrated Personal Assistance Services and Supports grants. Grants totaling $5-8 million will be available to assist States in developing or improving community-based attendant service systems that offer individuals with disabilities maximum control.

- Real Choice Systems Change grants. Congress and the Administration have made $50 million available for grants that will assist States in working with their disability and aging communities to improve their health and long term service systems so that people with a disability or chronic illness will have better choices and support to live in the community, consistent with the ADA.

- National Technical Assistance Exchange for Community Living grants. This national technical assistance initiative will provide technical assistance, training, and information to States, consumers, families, and other agencies and organizations. Funding for the technical assistance will range from $4-$5 million.