Tuesday, August 28, 2012
15 States Do Not Need Housing Vouchers for Disabled Persons to Leave Institutions. Information Bulletin #364 (8/2012). States had to file an application with HUD to be eligible to receive some of the FY 2012 Section 811 Project-based Rental Assistance Demonstration Grants, aka the Melville vouchers. The good news is that 35 States (and D.C.) applied and will compete to receive these vouchers. Congratulations to disability advocates who worked with your State agencies to develop and submit these applications. What is amazing is that 15 States did NOT apply. While we recognize that many of the 35 States that did apply may not win the competition, these 35 at least got into the race. What about the 15 States that did NOT apply? These 15 States obviously have an abundance of housing vouchers, just sitting around in some drawer, so that anyone who wishes to leave an institution will receive a voucher and not have housing as a barrier to living in the community. Right? These 15 States do not claim that their Money Follows the Person is hampered by housing, do they? Are we correct? Can disability advocates in the 15 States just telephone their State Housing Finance agency and/or Medicaid agency and pick up a housing voucher that is not being used? What are we missing? Why did these 15 States not compete? Here are the 15: Alabama Arizona Arkansas Hawaii Idaho Iowa Kansas Kentucky Nebraska New Mexico Oklahoma South Carolina Tennessee Virginia Wyoming 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.
ADA’s Olmstead “Most Integrated Setting” Mandate Will Be Undercut. Information Bulletin #363 (8/2012). Christine Gregoire, the Democratic Governor of Washington State, is deciding if she will threaten and undercut the right of people with disabilities to live in the community by eviscerating the Olmstead decision and the ADA’s “most integrated setting” mandate. How? In response to cuts to personal care services for approximately 45,000 Medicaid recipients, disability advocates sued the State of Washington. Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire argued in court that individuals with disabilities must be already institutionalized in order to be protected under the Olmstead decision. The Circuit court disagreed with Governor Gregoire. Now, Governor Gregoire is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court! She is putting the rights of people with disabilities at significant risk. If she takes the case to the Supreme Court, this Supreme Court will take the opportunity to turn back the clock on our rights. If appealed, “M.R. v. Dreyfus,” the name of the case, it will give the very activist U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to substantially erode or completely eliminate Olmstead. The disability community in Washington State has urged Governor Gregoire to settle this case without going to the Supreme Court, but she has been unwilling to do so Disability Advocates must TAKE ACTION NOW to contact key people within the Gregoire administration and the national leaders in the Democratic Party to urge Governor Gregoire to settle this case and not take it to the Supreme Court. Our message: “Governor Gregoire should support the right of people with disabilities living in the most integrated setting in the community! Settle M.R. v. Dreyfus! No appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.” The Olmstead decision is one of the few effective advocacy tools that the disability community has to fight against state budget cuts to home and community-based services that would force people with disabilities into unwanted and unwarranted institutionalization. TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS NOW. TIMING IS CRITICAL PLEASE DO IT TODAY: Please send emails, telephone and/or twitter to: 1. Marty Loesch, Chief of Staff for Governor Chris Gregoire, (360) 902-0499. Marty.email@example.com 2. Kareem Dale, White House, Kareem_A._Dale@who.eop.gov 3. Telephone the White House’s Monthly Disability call • Date of Call: Friday, August 24, 2012 • Start Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT (dial in 5 minutes early) • Dial in: (800) 762-7308 • Code: White House Disability Call Valarie Jarrett will be on this call, and she is President Obama’s point person. Tell her what you think. 4. Telephone the Democratic Governors’ Assn. at 202-772-5600 or email them at http://democraticgovernors.org/contact/ 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.