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The Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration (811 PRA) grant awarded to Commerce by the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of $5.7 million will provide project-based rental assistance to extremely low-income, non-elderly disabled households for a period of five years (with annual renewals thereafter based upon Congressional appropriations). The program’s mission is consistent with the guiding principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act and with the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., which requires state and local governments to provide services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. The Department of Social and Health Services is partnering with Commerce in the provision and coordination of services.

The following presents basic information about the 811 PRA Program.

The 811 PRA program provides a project-based rent assistance subsidy for non-elderly persons with disabilities that will cover the difference between the tenant payment and the approved rent. The program creates collaboration between Commerce and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) that will increase rental housing units for persons with disabilities by integrating Section 811 PRA assisted units within existing, new or rehabilitated multifamily properties with a mix of incomes and disability status.

An eligible multifamily property can be any new or existing property funded with Washington State Housing Trust Fund, HOME, Washington State Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, WSHFC Multifamily Bond program, or USDA – Rural Development.  Units must not currently have an existing use restriction or a contractual obligation to serve persons with disabilities.  Properties must have at least 5 housing units. No more than 25 percent of the total units in an eligible multifamily property can: 1) be provided Section 811 PRA funds; 2) be used for supportive housing for persons with disabilities; or 3) have any occupancy preference for persons with disabilities. Note, however, that occupancy preferences for housing that is not currently under contract/developed do not count toward the 25 percent restriction.  The objective of HUD is to expand the inventory of units available to persons with disabilities and not just add subsidy to existing units with these preferences.
Examples:

  • A jointly funded HTF and WSHFC project that was awarded funds for new construction in 2008 has a total of 40 units, 8 of which are set aside in the WSHFC contract for households with disabilities.  The project could only apply for two 811 PRA units before reaching the 25% threshold.
  • A project applies to HTF for funding in 2014 for rehab and does not currently exist in the portfolio.  It has 40 units and proposes that 10 units are set-aside for households with disabilities.  This project could apply for 811 PRA subsidy for up to 10 units before reaching the 25% threshold.  This is allowable because the set-aside for persons with disabilities is not currently in place at the property.
    Units must meet the program criteria for unit integration and accessibility and accessibility to transportation and services.  Units with long-term project based subsidy do not qualify for 811 PRA subsidy.

At the time of admission, at least one person in a household considered for a unit receiving 811 PRA rental subsidies must be non-elderly (18-61 years of age), disabled, and receiving or be eligible to receive Medicaid and services and supports provided through DSHS.  Individuals must have extremely low incomes at or below 30 percent AMI, and be in the DSHS caseload.

DSHS social workers and case managers will identify and screen clients within their caseloads currently residing in institutional settings as well as those in home and community-based residential settings, for interest to relocate into community-based housing units that receive assistance through the 811 PRA program.  DSHS staff will work with owners of properties to stay informed of vacancies and ensure that supportive services are being provided to clients.  Project owners and other organizations will not be able to directly refer their clients to 811 PRA assisted units.

Commerce will enter into Rental Assistance Contracts with owners for a minimum of 20 years with initial funding for a period of 5 years. Funding beyond the first 5 years is subject to additional HUD funding. The RAC rent levels will be the higher of FMR or 50 percent of AMI, with the 811 PRA payments being the difference between that and the tenant payment, minus utility allowances.

Owners must agree to record a Use Agreement for not less than 30 years, in the form prescribed by HUD. During the Use Agreement period, owners shall make the approved number of assisted units available for occupancy only by households that meet the eligibility requirements.

There will be limited vacancy payments.

To receive payment, tenant data must be entered into HUD’s Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System (TRACS) and Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) must be used to verify income.

Program Links

Program Resources

Note: documents below are PDFs.
PRAD Program Guidelines
Exhibit 3 – Washington Interagency Agreement
Exhibit 5 – Program Guidelines
Exhibit 7 – Rental Assistance Agreement
Exhibit 8 – Rental Assistance Contract (Part 1)
Exhibit 9 – Rental Assistance Contract (Part 2)
Exhibit 10 – Use Agreement
Exhibit 11 – Model Lease

Related Links

Contact Information

Commerce does not provide services directly to people who are at risk for or experiencing homelessness. Please refer to the “Need Help?” links above if you need individual assistance.

Jefferson Spring
811 Project Rental Assistance Program Manager
jeff.spring@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-2991

Liz Prince
DSHS PRAD Program Manager
prince@dshs.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-2561