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Mainstream Housing FAQs

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 Mainstream Housing FAQs
 
The purpose of New Avenues' Mainstream Housing program is to provide rental subsidy through Housing Choice Vouchers to enable individuals with disabilities to rent affordable private housing. New Avenues has developed the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help prospective applicants in determining whether or not to apply for a Housing Choice Voucher through New Avenues.
 
What is a Housing Choice Voucher?
A Housing Choice Voucher is tenant-based rental subsidy that allows very low-income families to choose and lease or purchase safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.
 
How is New Avenues' Program Different?
New Avenues' program is a Mainstream Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Program, specifically for individuals and families with disabilities. New Avenues' service area is Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties. Therefore, the Mainstream Housing program participants can use their Housing Choice Vouchers anywhere in this tri-county area.
 
Who is eligible to apply for a Housing Choice Voucher?
Adults ages 18 and older who have a disability are eligible for New Avenues' Mainstream Housing program.  According to HUD regulations, to be eligible for New Avenues' Mainstream Housing Program, an applicant must be a person with a disability as defined by the following:
 
a) has a disability as defined in section 223 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 423), or
b) is determined to have a physical, mental, or emotional impairment that:
     i. is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration
    ii. substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently and
   iii. is of such a nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions; or
c)  has a developmental disability as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act [42 U.S.C. 6001(5)] .
 
The term “person with disabilities” does not exclude persons who have the disease of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or any condition arising from the etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV).
 
The family’s eligibility for a voucher is made in accordance with the eligibility factors. Eligibility factors may not be determined before the family is placed on the waiting list, but will be determined and verified before a voucher is issued.
 
How does one apply for a Housing Choice Voucher?
There is only one way to apply for a Housing Choice Voucher through New Avenues. You must apply when our wait list is open. We do not accept referrals. When our wait list is open, we will notify the public by publishing a public notice in local newspapers. At that time, interested applicants will be able to get an application and submit it to New Avenues to get on our wait list.
 
What other services does New Avenues provide in addition to rental subsidy?
In addition to the rental subsidy, New Avenues provides the following services to both program participants and landlords:
  • housing-search assistance
  • housing counseling
  • landlord recruitment
  • accessibility and modification technical assistance to landlords
  • landlord/tenant mediation
  • case management
  • fair-housing advocacy
What are the restrictions associated with the Housing Choice Voucher?
The primary restriction associated with the Housing Choice Voucher is income-eligibility.  Applicants and participants in New Avenues' Mainstream Housing Program must meet very low-income requirements.  In addition, individuals must be a participant in the program in our jurisdiction (Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties) for at least 12-months before they can "port" or leave our program and take their Housing Choice Voucher to another program elsewhere.
 
The purpose of the Mainstream program is to provide rental vouchers to enable eligible persons with disabilities to rent affordable private housing of their choice.
 
The program assists persons with disabilities who often face difficulties in locating suitable and accessible housing in the private market. The rent subsidy is paid by New Avenues directly to landlords.
 
Services Provided
The following services are available to program participants:
  • Rental subsidy
  • Landlord recruitment
  • Housing counseling
  • Housing-search assistance
Are You Eligible?
Eligible program applicants must be very-low income and have a disability. This includes a disabled family or an individual with a disability. A disabled family is a family whose head, spouse or sole member is a person with a disability. An individual with a disability is a person who:
  1. Has a disability as defined in section 223 of the Social Security Act
  2. Is determined to have a physical, mental or emotional impairment that meet specified criteria
  3. Has a developmental disability as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act
 
To be eligible for the program, the individual with the disability must be an adult. Families with children under 18 years of age who have disabilities are not eligible for assistance under this program. Eligible units include single family homes and apartment units.
 
New Avenues’ Mainstream Housing program is open to residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties who meet eligibility requirements.
 
Application Process
Individuals interested in participating in the Mainstream Housing program must submit an application when the Mainstream wait list is open. Notification of the opening of the wait list will be published in local newspapers and will be sent to service providers.
 
Applicants will be placed on the wait list based on date and time postmark of application. New Avenues will select applicants in order on the wait list to determine program eligibility. If an applicant is determined eligible, New Avenues will issue a Housing Choice Voucher to the applicant. If an applicant is determined ineligible, New Avenues will remove the applicant from the wait list.
 
All applicants determined eligible must attend an applicant briefing on program requirements prior to receipt of the Housing Choice Voucher.
 
For more information, please contact the Resource Development Director at (216) 481-1909 x249 or szarcone@newavenues.net.