HAND Housing Achievement Award Winner Spotlight: Project Community Integration, Best Small Affordable Housing Project
In Montgomery County, Maryland, and across the country there is a severe shortage of affordable housing for individuals with disabilities. Housing Unlimited, Inc. has worked for the past 20 years to improve those circumstances by creating service-enriched homes people with psychiatric disabilities can afford – and thrive. This year’s HAND Housing Achievement Award for Best Small Affordable Housing Project honors Project Community Integration, an eight unit scattered-site development that provides condominium homes for 20 very low-income adults with psychiatric disabilities.
As part of an innovative state pilot coordinated by local and state mental health agencies to move people with disabilities to less restrictive environments, Housing Unlimited was able to acquire the $1.5 million needed to purchase the properties, largely through the financial assistance from the State of Maryland’s Community Bond Program in conjunction with the Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Community Affairs and privately raised funds.
Within the state of Maryland, there are limited opportunities for individuals who are ready to transition out of psychiatric hospitals into community-based supervised housing. That’s where communities like Project Community Integration come in. Whether or not a resident has experience living independently, Project Community Integration focuses on helping them understand their housing obligations and viable ways to sustain their housing. Through supportive service provided by the local government mental health agency and psychiatric support providers, more than 90% of Housing Unlimited residents have been able to maintain their housing by paying their rent on time, respecting their housemates and their community, and keeping a clean home.
We congratulate Housing Unlimited for its award winning Project Community Integration, and hope you come out to the HAND Annual Meeting so you can congratulate them, too!