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What is Integrated Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing is an evidence-based, cost-effective approach that combines permanent affordable rental housing with voluntary, flexible and individualized services to assist people with disabilities to live in the community.

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What is Integrated Supportive Housing?


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, requires public entities such as states to administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities. Supportive housing is an evidence-based, cost-effective approach that combines permanent affordable rental housing with voluntary, flexible and individualized services to assist the most vulnerable people with disabilities to live in the community.

HUD's Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program is a critical supportive housing program that assists the lowest income people with significant and long-term disabilities to live independently in the community by providing affordable housing linked with voluntary services and supports. The enactment of the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 reforms Section 811, creating the opportunity to systematically develop thousands of new permanent supportive housing units integrated within affordable housing properties every year.

Using the new Section 811 integrated model, supportive housing units are included in high quality affordable rental properties that primarily assist households without disabilities. To maximize opportunities for community integration, this new approach requires that no more than 25% of the units in any Section 811 funded property be set aside for people with disabilities.
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  • Disability Community
    As states are increasingly challenged to ensure community living opportunities for non-elderly people with disabilities, the disability community - including people with disabilities, their families and friends, legislators, advocates, and service providers - are important partners in advocating for the creation of more integrated permanent supportive housing options. Many states are seeking to expand integrated supportive housing to assure compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, and to reduce reliance on expensive institutional care, and prevent and end homelessness among people with disabilities.
  • Housing Developers
    Developers and owners of affordable housing can play a critical role to help create decent, safe, affordable and accessible permanent supportive housing for non-elderly people with disabilities. Recently enacted legislation modernizing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program provides a new opportunity for affordable housing developers to create integrated supportive housing opportunities for this population.
  • State Housing Agencies
    State Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) can play an important role to help create decent, safe, affordable and accessible permanent supportive housing for non-elderly people with disabilities. Responding to the increasing demand for more supportive housing units, HFAs in several states have already implemented the integrated approach that is now the centerpiece of new HUD Section 811 policy. These states created integrated supportive housing units for people with disabilities by including incentives or requirements in their Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and/or their HOME-funded rental housing strategy.
  • State Human Service Agencies
    State health & human service (HHS) agencies are increasingly challenged to ensure community living opportunities for non-elderly people with disabilities. Many states are seeking to expand integrated permanent supportive housing options for this population to assure compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, reduce reliance on expensive institutional care, and prevent and end homelessness among people with disabilities.