Housing Information for People with a Developmental Disability

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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[1]. Please click [here](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/housing outcomes update/dds_housing outcomes table_w_comptimeline_10_1_17.pdf) for an update related to the number of people in the target population that are living in their own homes.

Videos 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](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/referral docs/dds_household budget worksheet_8_3_16ver3.xlsx) 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](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/referral docs/dds_suppcoordchecklist_dojpreferencefinal_4_28_16.pdf) to download the checklist.

Please click [here](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/srap/dds_srapfactsheet_8_19_16.pdf) 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 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.

Referral Policies

Please click [here](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/housing resource referral policies/dds_housing resource_referral_policy3_10_2017final.pdf) 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](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/set_aside_vouchers_faq_3_2_16.pdf) to download the FAQ document.

Updated Referral Form and Support Coordinator/Case Manager Checklist

We have updated the DBHDS Housing Resource Referral Form to include an acknowledgements and certifications page. We added the acknowledgements and certifications page 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](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/referral docs/dds_dbhds housing resource referral form_2_10_17finalv4.pdf) to download the DBHDS Housing Resource Referral Form (dated 2/2017). Please click [here](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/referral docs/dds_dbhds housing resource referral form_2_10_17final samplev4.pdf) 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](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/referral docs/dds_suppcoordchecklist_dojpreferencefinal_4_28_16.pdf) 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.

Flexible Funding

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](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/flexible funding/dds_flexible_funding_flyer_3_30_17.pdf) for a summary of how the resource may be used and information related to how to obtain an application. Please click [here](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/flexible funding/dds_final amendedguidelines for expenditure of flexible funding_6_21_17.pdf) for a copy of 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.

Housing Plan

  • [Virginia's Plan to Increase Independent Living Options - Action Plan Update](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/housing plans/dds_vpiilo_2017update_final_1_31_17.pdf) (January 2017)
  • [Virginia's Plan to Increase Independent Living Options - Action Plan Update](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/housing plans/ddsaction planvirginias plan to increase independent living optionsfinal22516.pdf) (January 2016)
  • [Virginia's Plan to Increase Independent Living Options - Action Plan Update](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/dds_doj housing plan update--july 2014 revisions to appendix c.pdf) (October 2014)
  • [Virginia's Plan to Increase Independent Living Options](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/doj final_doj_housing_plan_3_6_13.pdf) (March 2013)

My Own Home Guidebook

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 the 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 (“target 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.

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Resources for Support Coordinators and Case Managers (Please click the document's title to download it) DBHDS Housing Assessment and Planning Tools

  • [Housing Assessment Tool](http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/library/developmental services/housing/housing assessment and planning tools/dds_dbhds housing assessment_3_13_17fillable.pdf)
  • Housing Action Plan

Educating Individuals About Integrated, Independent Housing Options * What Is Supportive Housing? Housing Assessment and Person Centered Planning * Want Your Own Place to Live Handbook
(Please note: Fair Market Rents listed in this handbook are for Northern VA only) * Supports and Housing Needs Assessment * Household Spending Plan
* Moving Expenses Budget * Housing Needs Profile * Plan to Maintain Stable Housing Housing Search * Guardianship and Leases FAQ * Housing Resume Packet * Housing Search Websites Live-in Caregivers * Live-in Aide Lease Addendum * Sample Live-in Caregiver Agreement Moving In * Housing Quality Standards Checklist * Move-in Inspection Checklist
* Important Phone Numbers Template * Suggested and Prohibited Lease Terms Roommate Search * Questions to Ask Potential Housemates
* Roommate Search Websites
* Roommate Chore Chart
* Sample Roommate Agreement
Tenant Training Resources Coming Soon!


[1] 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.