July 24, 2009

Congressional Update: House passes legislation to increase funding for HUD Section 811 program

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.

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 (CCD) fact sheet on HR 1675 or view CCD's letter of support for HR 1675.

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