14a. Section 811 PRA Program Overview
The Section 811 Project Rent Assistance (Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities) Program is authorized by Section 811 of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-625) as amended by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-550), the Rescission Act (P.L. 104-19) the American Homeownership and Opportunity Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-569) and the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Act of 2010(P.L. 111–374).
- Program regulations can be found in 24 CFR Part 891.
- For more information, visit the PRA Program page on HUD’s website.
Please refer to Exhibit 1 of the Cooperative Agreement template (form HUD-92305-PRA) for the definition of terms used in all Section 811 documents. (See Section 17 – Appendix.)
Types of Assistance Authorized
The Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010 authorized the Section 811 program to operate in three ways:
- Traditional capital advance/PRA program that provides interest-free capital advances and operating subsidies to nonprofit developers of affordable housing for persons with disabilities.
- Modernized capital advance/PRAC that provides interest-free capital advances and operating subsidies for no more than 25% of units in a multi-family property set-aside as housing for persons with disabilities.
- Project rental assistance (PRA) program that provides project rental assistance to multifamily properties selected by state housing agencies. The PRA program does not provide any capital funds.
Since the FY12 appropriation, the only new funds Congress has provided under the Section 811 program have been for the PRA option. Thus, the remainder of this section focuses specifically on the PRA option.
Purpose and Goals of the Project Rental Assistance (PRA) Program
The primary purpose of HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Project Rental Assistance (PRA) Program is to identify, stimulate and support innovative state-level strategies that will transform and increase housing for extremely low-income persons with disabilities, while also making appropriate support and services available to them.
By subsidizing rental housing with the availability of supportive services for eligible tenants, the PRA Program enables persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community. By providing rent assistance, HUD seeks to increase eligible tenants’ access to affordable permanent supportive housing units – both new and existing – that are linked to appropriate services.
Project Rental Assistance Overview
Under the PRA, states are the only eligible applicants and may apply through a partnership between the health care/Medicaid authority and the state housing finance agency. In forging this partnership, the health care authority must develop a policy for referrals, tenant selection and service delivery to ensure that supportive housing available for the targeted population.
Supportive services may vary with the target population and could include tenancy supports, case management, training in independent living skills and assistance in obtaining employment, as well as other services. However, tenants cannot be required to accept any supportive service as a condition of occupancy.
Currently, Section 811 funding comes only in the form of project rental assistance. No Section 811 funds are available for construction, rehabilitation or supportive services. The program provides, project rental assistance only for new or existing affordable housing developments funded by such sources as federal or state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, HUD’s CDBG and HOME funds, and other federal, state, and local financing mechanisms.
In accepting PRA funding, grantees assume responsibility for administering the PRA Program, managing Rental Assistance Contracts (RAC) with property owners and satisfying all applicable HUD and other federal requirements.
For all PRA-funded projects, eligible tenants will meet the Cooperative Agreement definition:
Extremely Low-Income Person with Disabilities between the ages of 18 and 62, and Extremely Low Income Families, which includes at least one Person with a Disability, who is between the ages of 18 and 62 at the time of admission. The Person with a Disability must be eligible for community-based, long-term care services as provided through Medicaid waivers, Medicaid state plan options, comparable state funded services or other appropriate services related to the type of disabilities targeted under the Inter-Agency Partnership Agreement. The Inter-Agency Partnership Agreement describes the specific target population eligible for the grantee’s program.