Affordable housing is necessary for an integrated and fulfilled life. Yet, finding and securing affordable housing remains a real challenge for most. This is especially true for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Good news is that the Division for Development Disabilities (DDD) funds rental subsidies. For many, applying for subsidies can be confusing. Thankfully, we have a lot of experience helping people through this process. Your Support Coordinator can help you through it, too. This process can start anytime. Talk to your Support Coordinator about your aspirations and needs. For now, I am sharing an overview of the eligibility requirements and application process.
To apply for a Supportive Housing Connection (SHC) housing subsidy a person must:
• Meet the criteria for DDD eligibility
• Have current and active Medicaid
• Have a current NJ Comprehensive Assessment Tool (NJ CAT): www.state.nj.us/humanservices/ddd/individuals/applyservices/assessment/
• Have an assigned Support Coordinator
The first step when interested in applying for an SHC housing subsidy is to talk with your Support Coordinator. Your Support Coordinator will explain the process in further detail. They will also help you to complete and submit the required form to DDD’s Housing Subsidy Unit. Here’s a link to the DDD Housing Subsidy Program Eligibility Determination Form: https://nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/assets/documents/housing-subsidy-program-eligibility-determination-form.docx
If the request is approved, you will be referred to the Supportive Housing Connection (SHC). From there, you can expect to be contacted by a DDD Housing Subsidy Unit staff who will explain next steps in the process.
In most cases, SHC housing subsidies will be provided for one-bedroom rental units. If you plan to live with other paying tenants, an SHC housing subsidy may be approved for a rental unit with more than one bedroom. This does not include family members or support staff. The SHC will conduct initial, annual, and any other needed unit inspections. An SHC housing subsidy will fund rental units that are at or below Published Rent Standards. Current Published Rent Standards can be found here (https://nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/documents/DDD_PRS.pdf) in the Housing Subsidy Program section.
People who receive a Supportive Housing Connection (SHC) rental subsidy are required to pay 30% of their gross income. Gross income includes Social Security Insurance or Social Security Disability Benefits and employment wages. SHC will pay the remainder of the monthly rent amount. This is based on a State-established maximum for the county or zip code. Rent is paid directly to the landlord.
To learn more about the program, you can view the pre-recorded Housing Subsidy Program webinar.
When a person applies for and accepts a SHC housing subsidy, it is important that they understand the rules and requirements. They can be found in the links below.
DDD Housing Assistance Policy https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/documents/housing_assistance_policy.pdf
DDD Rental Subsidy Agreement https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/documents/rental-subsidy-agreement.pdf
DDD’s Housing Assistance https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/individuals/housing/