PO Box 249
San Mateo, CA 94401
Housing Authority for the County of Santa Clara
505 West Julian Street
San Jose, CA 95110
August 17, 2015
Re: Housing Voucher Priority for Our County’s Developmentally Disabled
Dear HACSC Board and Staff:
We are extremely alarmed to hear that HACSC leadership is under the erroneous and damaging impression that Housing Authorities lack discretion to grant priority vouchers serving the developmentally disabled.
Such a policy, aside from being an imperative from a practical and moral point of view, is plainly legal and permissible pursuant to HUD Guidance, Notice PIH-2012-31 (HA) issued June 29, 2012, granting discretion to give priority to residents deemed to be at serious risk of institutionalization. Those incapacitated by developmental disabilities, including significant cognitive impairment and autism (including California DDS-eligible autism) are clearly at risk of institutionalization due to their inability to care for themselves or earn a living.
Santa Clara County’s autism population is skyrocketing. In 1990, DDS counted 147 autism clients. Today the number is about 3,200. Our adult autism population will double in the next five years and triple in the next ten. Where will this crush of disabled, dependent adults live? Without assistance from the Housing Authority there are almost no options available to them. HACSC’s unfounded belief that it is powerless to address the housing needs of this severely disabled population is disastrous and plain wrong.
We urge HACSC to employ the HUD Guidance, as many other Housing Authorities have done, to promote portable and project-based housing options for our most severely disabled and dependent citizens who are at risk of institutionalization. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
cc; Javier Zaldivar and Jeff Darling, SARC; Jan Stokley, HCC; Kris McCann, BAHC