State Funding to Bolster Arlington's Supportive Housing Program

Published on March 12, 2016

  • $700,000 grant will help house persons with disabilities

  • County to help 30 more adults

  • Funding for two years, possibility of renewal

The State of Virginia has awarded the County's Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSH) $731,813 in state funding to continue its successful efforts to house people with disabilities. The funding will allow the supportive housing program to extend housing subsidies and supportive services to 30 more persons who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or leaving a state mental health institution.

"Permanent Supportive Housing is where our commitment to affordable housing intersects with our duty to support the needs of our most vulnerable residents," said County Board chair Libby Garvey. "Offering this service has been a key County strategy for more than two decades. We are pleased that the state is helping us expand the service to even more people whose lives will be changed by having a home and a secure roof over their head."

The Board voted 5-0 (part of the Consent Agenda) to accept the funding.

Permanent Supportive Housing serves persons with disabilities such as mental illness or substance abuse. The program provides rental assistance, coupled with case management and supportive services aimed at increasing housing stability and independence. PSH is a "housing first" program -- participants are housed first, then linked to supportive programs and services.

The state funding is for two years ($286,952 in year one and $444,861 in year two), with potential for renewal of up to three more years. About three-quarters of the funds ($573,520) will be used for rent subsidies and client services; the rest will fund a full-time housing specialist and operating expenses. The funding was secured through the efforts of the Department of Human Services' Behavioral Healthcare Division, Arlington County Community Services Board, and Permanent Supportive Housing Program.

To read the staff report for this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #14 on the Agenda for the Saturday, March 12 County Board Meeting.

About Permanent Supportive Housing

PSH is an evidence-based model that provides affordable housing integrated in the community, typically in affordable rental apartments. Each lease is in the tenant's name, with the tenant paying no more than 30% of his or her income toward rent.

PSH is a key component of Arlington's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. It focuses on housing at-risk individuals and then providing access to a range of services that help them maintain stable housing. A person in Permanent Supportive Housing has a case manager who coordinates services when they are needed. Services can include assistance with money management, medication management, treatment for mental health and substance abuse conditions, and development of daily living skills.

Since its launch in 2004, Arlington's PSH program has seen 79% of participants served remain in permanent housing. The PSH program is part of the County's Department of Human Services. Case management and supportive services are provided through a partnership with DHS's Behavioral Healthcare Division.