The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today issued new guidance to HUD-assisted housing providers on how they can support state and local Olmstead efforts to increase the integrated housing opportunities for individuals with disabilities who are transitioning from, or at serious risk of entering, institutions and other restrictive, segregated settings.
Olmstead refers to the 1999 Supreme Court landmark decision, Olmstead v. L.C., which affirmed that the unjustified segregation of individuals with disabilities is an illegal form of discrimination. Following the Olmstead decision, many states are working hard to assist individuals living in institutions and other segregated settings to move to integrated, community-based settings where they can receive the health care and long-term services and supports they need. Many of these efforts, though, are confounded by a lack of integrated and affordable housing options for persons with disabilities.
HUD’s new guidance encourages public housing agencies and other HUD-assisted housing providers to consider the housing needs of their individual communities and their state and to partner with state and local governments to provide additional community-based, integrated housing opportunities. HUD’s guidance is consistent with efforts across federal agencies and in many states to provide appropriate health care and related supportive services for individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
The guidance announced today affirms HUD’s commitment that individuals with disabilities, like all persons, should have meaningful choice and self-determination in housing and in the health care and related support services they receive. For this reason, HUD is exploring how it can fund additional integrated housing units scattered throughout communities and provide a greater range of meaningful housing choices for individuals with disabilities. HUD is also exploring how existing HUD-assisted housing can provide individuals with disabilities increased opportunities to exercise autonomy, independence, and self-determination in living arrangements that have the comforts and qualities of home.
While HUD’s guidance will be helpful to individuals with disabilities and anyone engaged in the funding, development or operation of housing, the scope of this guidance is limited to HUD funding and programs. Recipients of HUD funds include, but are not limited, to: states, units of local government; public housing agencies; and developers of multifamily properties. Recipients do not include the individual beneficiaries of HUD-funded programs and activities.