Independent Housing Outcomes
DBHDS and its state, regional and local partners have been working collaboratively to increase the number of housing options available to people in the Settlement Agreement population. Please click here for an update related to the number of people in the settlement agreement population that are living in their own homes.
Video Series Highlighting People With A Developmental Disability Living in Their Own Home in The Community
The Northern Virginia Housing & Supportive Services Regional Implementation Team (NoVA HSS RIT) received a grant from Virginia Housing Development Authority to produce a series of educational videos to introduce individuals to different housing options that separate housing from services. The Arc of Northern Virginia managed this grant and coordinated the production of these videos with the support of Jeannie Cummins Eisenhour, DBHDS Senior Regional Housing Specialist. The video series is titled "Housing Choice Voucher" and is available by clicking here.
The videos expose individuals and families to different approaches for organizing housing and support services. Some approaches utilize both rent assistance and Medicaid Waiver funded services, while others rely on family-driven housing options or alternative sources of support. The videos are also a resource for support coordinators to help build awareness among individuals and families about integrated, independent housing options for people in the Settlement Agreement target population.
State Rental Assistance Program
The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has created a State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) to serve individuals with developmental disabilities in the Settlement Agreement population who want to live in their own housing. The program is designed to provide rental assistance to single person families that meet the program eligibility criteria so they have the means to lease private market rental housing that meets their needs.
Individuals will have the opportunity to choose where they live, with whom they live, and who supports them. Services and supports will be provided through sources separate from their housing, including Medicaid Waiver-funded home and community based services, natural supports, privately paid supports, and other community resources.
The following Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) have each entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with DBHDS to administer the State Rental Assistance Program in the following areas:
Chesapeake Redevelopment and Housing Authority – the City of Chesapeake
Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority – Fairfax County, the Cities of Fairfax, and the Towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority – the City of Norfolk
Virginia Beach Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation – the City of Virginia Beach
The referral form is in a PDF format, and applicants and support coordinators can type their information directly into the form to ensure the form is legible. We will not accept any illegible forms. Please click here to download the DBHDS Housing Resource Referral Form (dated 2/2017). Please click here to download a sample referral form. If the person that you are referring already lives in his or her own housing, please complete and submit the attached budget that demonstrates that the eligible individual needs a housing resource. Please click here for the budget spreadsheet.
The Support Coordinator/Case Manager checklist enumerates the tasks support coordinators/case managers should complete with individuals to ensure they are prepared to use housing resources (e.g., housing choice vouchers, SRAP, etc.) in a timely manner; if they are referred. Submission of a referral occurs after a variety of tasks have been accomplished. This is important: performing these steps first increases the likelihood a person will be prepared to use the housing resource, and decreases the chances a person will be determined ineligible or decline the housing resource after it is offered. If you need assistance with helping someone transition, please contact a housing specialist in your region (Please see contact information below). Please click here to download the checklist.
Please click here to download the SRAP Fact sheet.
Housing Choice Voucher Admissions Preference for the Settlement Agreement Population
DBHDS continues to accept referrals from DD Support Coordinators and Private Case Managers (must contract with a CSB) for individuals in the target population that would like to live in their own rental housing with appropriate supports. DBHDS maintains a referral list for housing choice vouchers and eligible individuals are moved up on the list as referrals are made to Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) and other local housing choice voucher programs. If an individual’s name comes to the top of the list and he or she decides not to utilize the voucher, his or her name will be removed from the referral list and a new referral must be submitted in order for the individual’s name to be placed back on the list.
Referrals should only be made for individuals who have: 1) made an informed decision to live in their own rental housing; 2) are ready or can be ready to move within 120 days of being referred and/or approved for a voucher and 3) who have or will have adequate waiver, non-waiver and natural supports in place needed to attain and maintain their housing in the community.
Please click here to download the DBHDS Housing Resource Referral Policies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prior to completing the referral form, please download and review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. Please click here to download the FAQ document.
Updated Referral Form and Support Coordinator/Case Manager Checklist
We have updated the DBHDS Housing Resource Referral Form on 2/2017. We have made changes to the referral form as a result of the number of referrals that we receiving for ineligible individuals and for individuals that are not prepared to transition due to a number of factors (e.g., lack of supports, long term discharge dates, lack of understanding relating to what a housing resource is and how it works, etc.). The referral form is in a PDF format, and applicants and support coordinators can type their information directly into the form to ensure the form is legible. We will not accept any illegible forms. Please click here to download the DBHDS Housing Resource Referral Form (dated 2/2017). Please click here to download a sample referral form.
The Support Coordinator/Case Manager checklist enumerates the tasks support coordinators and private case managers should complete with individuals to ensure they are prepared to use housing resources (e.g., housing choice vouchers, SRAP, etc.) in a timely manner; if they are referred. Submission of a referral occurs after a variety of tasks have been accomplished. This is important: performing these steps first increases the likelihood a person will be prepared to use the housing resource, and decreases the chances a person will be determined ineligible or decline the housing resource after it is offered. If you need assistance with helping someone transition, please contact a housing specialist in your region (Please see contact information below). Please click here to download the checklist.
Virginia Housing Search
If you, a family member, or someone that you know or support is interested in living in their own rental housing, please click here for a free resource that may help with locating housing that meets individualized needs and budgets.
In June 2015 and 2016, the DBHDS provided funding to increase access to and the availability of integrated, independent housing options for individuals with a developmental disability that meet the criteria for the Settlement Agreement population as defined in the Settlement Agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. Department of Justice. Please click here for a summary of how the resource may be used and information related to how to obtain an application. Please click here for a copy of the flexible funding guidelines.
Flexible Funding requests should be approved when a good or service is a documented "need" in order for an individual to obtain and maintain independent housing. Please click here for examples of justifiable requests and requests that will not be approved.
Please Note: The application form varies by CSB and Support Coordinators/Case Managers must submit the application on behalf on an eligible individual. Eligible individuals may not use flexible funds to transition to or to sustain tenancy at a non-independent setting, a licensed setting or reside with a parent, grandparent or legal guardian.
My Own Home
The "My Own Home" guidebook was created by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The purpose of this handbook is to provide information about independent housing options and resources available to individuals with developmental disabilities in the Settlement Agreement Population. Please click here to download a copy of the guidebook.
Division of Developmental Services - Housing Team
DBHDS has hired Integrated Community Options Specialists (also referred to as “Regional Housing Specialists”) in each of its five Developmental Services Regions.
The Integrated Community Options Specialists are responsible for developing local, regional and statewide relationships and identifying potential resources necessary to increase the availability of and access to affordable and accessible housing for individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability who are Medicaid Waiver recipients or those who are eligible for a Medicaid Waiver and possibly on the waiver waiting lists (“SA population”). In addition, the regional housing specialists are charged with furthering the department’s efforts to implement best practices in integrated, independent supportive housing for the target population as part of complying with the U.S. Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia, implementing “Virginia’s Plan to Increase Access to Independent Living Options” and to help all Virginias realize a life of possibilities.
Housing Team Contact Information
Please click here to view the DBHDS Developmental Services Region Map.
 Individuals with developmental disabilities who are included in the target population under the Commonwealth’s Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice [United States V. Commonwealth of Virginia, United States District Court for Eastern District of Virginia (Civil Action No. 3:12 CV 059)] are as follows: (1) individuals currently reside at any of the Commonwealth’s training centers, (2) individuals that meet the criteria for the Intellectual Disability (ID) waiver or Developmental Disability (DD) waiver wait lists (includes individuals who currently have an ID or DD waiver), or (3) individuals who currently reside in a nursing home or ICF-IDD.