Episode: Accessible Housing

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

video transcript

Accessible Housing

In this show, Gene and Dave examine the options for obtaining Accessible Housing in Austin, Texas. Our choices are to rent private, rent subsidized housing or apartments, or to buy/build housing with or without financial assistance. Either way, here are some resources to help.

Our guest host, a community organizer, with ADAPT was :

Jennifer McPhail

1640-A E. 2nd Street

Austin, Texas

Ph 512-442-0252

www.ADAPTofTexas.org

 

Other guests were:

Isabelle Headrick, Executive Director

Accessible Housing Austin (AHA)

1640-A E. 2nd Street

Austin, Texas 78702

Ph 512. 442-6680

http://aha.knowbility.org/home/

isabelle.headrick@gmail.com

Isabel told us about long waiting list for accessible housing and that people who need housing should plan years in advance. AHA can help you find housing vouchers. Find property listings at gosection8.com and www.zillow.com and www.trulia.com. Also try Travis County Housing Authority and Housing Authority of City of Austin. Both administer section 8 vouchers. There are other kinds of vouchers out there also. There’s something called TBRA which is Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, and there’s Vash which is vouchers for veterans.

 

Katherine Stark, Executive Director

Austin Tenants’ Council

1640-B E. 2nd Street, Suite 150

Austin, Texas 78702

(512) 474-7006-Appointments

(512) 474-1961-Counseling

www.housing-rights.org

 

Kathy can help folks get FHA reasonable accommodations. They have 2 programs. The first is the Landlord Tenant Assistance and the second program is Fair Housing Enforcement and Education. They also provide and publish the Affordable Housing Guide. That guide lists all the housing that has any sort of government subsidy whether that’s city, county, federal government, bond programs, any sort of funding that makes it a little bit more affordable. It is on their website, www.housing-rights.org

 

Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA)

http://www.hacanet.org

(512) 477-4488

1124 S IH 35
Austin, TX 78704-2614

 

Applications for conventional public housing may be filled out at our central office at 1124 S. IH-35. Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Note that the One Bedroom public housing waiting list is currently closed.   Once an application is completed for conventional public housing, applicants are placed on a waiting list according to the date and time of their application, the size of the unit for which they qualify (Public Housing only) and local preference for which they may qualify. There is an extensive waiting period to receive housing.

 

Section 811

Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities

Through the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, HUD provides funding to develop and subsidize rental housing with the availability of supportive services for very low- and extremely low-income adults with disabilities.

 

In addition to Easter Seals, one person that manages several HUD 811s in the area is :

 

Brad D. Prak – Prak Property Management, Inc.

830-372-2600 TTY/TDD 800-545-1833, ext. 921

bdprak@yahoo.com

Prak Property Management, Inc

 

Section 8

Section 8 is Supportive Housing for Persons with low income. It is currently not accepting applications but its’ waiting list opening October 22, 2014 through October 29, 2014.

Apply Online only https://Austin.Apply4Housing.com

For assistance, call 1-888-262-3949

2500 pre-applications will be selected at random to be placed on the Section 8 waiting list.

 

Visitability

Jennifer McPhail, community organizer with ADAPT, told us about the

Architectural Barrier Removal Program from the city of Austin and if you want details about that call 512-974-3100. They can install ramps or grab bars, widen doorways. That’s the most expensive type of modification people see, that and putting in a roll-in shower.

Jennifer also told us about Visitability. On 4-27-14, Austin City council passed an ordinance to incorporate Visitability into our city single family building code. ALL single family and duplex housing built after July 2015 will have to be Visitable. (Housing built with City assistance was covered in 1998.) That housing must have a No-step entrance. There has to be a clear pathway so that you can go from room to room or through the hallways and then there have to be thermostats and the light switches and the outlets at an accessible level. The bathroom like we talked about and it doesn’t necessarily, it can be bigger but a lot of them are going to be kind of small so it won’t be like a full accessible bathroom but you can put in the grab bars and you’ll be able to go the toilet and use the tub or shower.

Jennifer said that building support for this ordinance was a transformative process. We are thankful that Jennifer, ADAPT, and others helped build support for this community building, accessibility ordinance.

 

Easter Seals Central Texas, Community and Housing Services

Rosa Gonzalez –Abrego, Housing Programs Director

Easter Seals Central Texas, Community and Housing Services

1611 Headway Circle, Bldg. 2, Austin, TX 78754

Tel: (512) 615-3379

http://www.easterseals.com/centraltx/our-programs/adult-services/community-housing-services/

 

Their Housing Services includes:

HUD Section 811 – Wheelchair Accessible Condominiums – ESCT has developed wheelchair accessible condo units for rent to income qualified adults with disabilities.  Although vacancies are rare, applications for future availability are accepted. $26k max income. 3-5 year waiting list.

 

Texas Home of Your Own (HOYO) – Temporarily out of money. $20k down pymt assistance $47k max income.

 

Critical Home Accessibility Modification Program (CHAMP) – assist with home modifications such as accessible ramps, bathrooms and kitchens, Waiting list. If not income qualified, may get list of contractors who do home modifications.

 

Tenant Based Rental Assistance – With funding support from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, ESCT offers rental assistance vouchers for income eligible individuals with disabilities to live in the community.