Friday, June 1, 2012
Increasing Accessible Housing in Your Community Above the 5 Percent Minimum. Information Bulletin # 359 (6/2012). As you know from many previous Information Bulletins, State, cities, counties and private entities which receive “federal financial assistance” for housing – whether from the HOME Investment Partnership, Community Development Block Grants, Public Housing, and/or “project based” housing vouchers - must have “a minimum of five percent” of the units accessible for “persons with mobility impairments.” HUD’s federal regulations note that “HUD may prescribe a higher percentage [than five percent] … upon request by any affected recipient … based upon demonstration … of a need for a higher percentage based on census data … or evidence of a need for a higher percentage … in any manner.” What this means is that advocates must show HUD that your area needs more accessible housing than the minimum five percent. Here’s what advocates have to do to and how to do it. The Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder has completed the “2010 American Community Survey.’ Go to http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml There are two boxes: 1. “Topic or Table” and 2. “State, County or Place.” In the first box type Disability and in the second type the name of your State and then the name of your city or county. It’ll drop down and click on it. What will then pop up is a table with “S1810 Disability Characteristics”; click on it. Magically, a table entitled “Disability Characteristics” will appear with the name of your county or city. This table is divided both by age and type of impairment. In the column labeled “Estimate,” add up the three rows for “ambulatory” (listed by ages 5 -17, 18 -64, and 65 years and older). The sum of those three numbers should be divided by the number on the row entitled “Total civilian noninstitutionalized population” in the column labeled “Estimate”. The result is the 2010 Census percentage of persons with mobility impairments in your city or state. That is the lowest percent of persons who require accessible housing in your area. Advocates should keep in mind that the above percentage does NOT include any institutionalized persons! Obviously, if you know the number of mobility impaired persons in the institutions, whether nursing homes, state centers, state hospitals for persons with mental illness, intermediate care facilities for persons with intellectual disabilities, you should include that number so the percentage would be higher. If the percent computed from the 2010 American Community Survey in your area exceeds the minimum five percent that HUD established in 1988, advocates must request your locale HUD office to require the recipients of federal funds to increase the number of accessible units to the required percentage. Since the lack of accessible housing for persons with mobility impairments is an impediment to fair housing, and HUD requires Consolidated Plans to identify “Analyses of Impediments,” we expect HUD will be very cooperative with advocates to ensure this barrier/impediment is eliminated. After all, the housing with the barriers has been funded by HUD! Power concedes nothing without a struggle. F. Douglas Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues Back issues of other Information Bulletins are available online at http://www.stevegoldada.com with a searchable Archive at this site divided into different subjects. As of August, 2010, Information Bulletins will also be posted on my blog located at http://stevegoldada.blogspot.com/ To contact Steve Gold directly, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-627-7100. Ext 227.