This was originally published by OPWDD in the brochure below. It has been cut and paste for others to find via Google and similar online methods. It was distributed to New York State Housing Navigators via the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation.
OPWDD Background - Housing Subsidy
The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is a New York State agency that oversees the coordination of services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, etc.
What is the OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy?
The OPWDD Individual Supports and Services (ISS) Housing Subsidy works like other government funded housing subsidies that you may be familiar with, such as the Federal Housing Choice Voucher Program (i.e., Section 8).
It is designed to support income eligible people with developmental disabilities who choose to live in their community and who will be financially and legally responsible (i.e. lease holder) for their housing unit as a responsible tenant.
Tenants are expected to contribute approximately 30% of their countable income towards housing costs. The ISS Housing Subsidy pays the difference up to the maximum allowable.
The person can choose to live alone, with roommates and/or with a live-in-caregiver. The person may also be eligible for assistance with their security deposit and other moving expenses.
What Type of Housing is Acceptable?
Acceptable housing includes: A single-family home, townhouse, condominium, apartment, co-op, or manufactured home that meets OPWDD’s criteria for housing assistance and is otherwise available to rent, own or occupy under a legally enforceable lease/agreement by the public and/or through an OPWDD provider agency.
The housing unit must meet OPWDD’s Housing Quality Standards, which are based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Quality Standards (24 CFR 982.401) used for the Section 8 Voucher Program.
The housing unit must be a specific separate unit with kitchen and bathroom facilities and must meet local and state standards as a legal dwelling unit. The OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy does not support renting a room.
Benefits for Landlords in Renting to People with I/DD who have an OPWDD ISS Housing Subsidy
At the beginning of every month you will receive a check toward the tenant’s portion of the rent from an OPWDD authorized provider agency.
The provider agency that administers the ISS Housing Subsidy will also help ensure that the tenant is meeting his/her responsibilities as a tenant and will intervene if there are any difficulties.
The tenant may have additional supports that assist him/her in maintaining and sustaining his/her tenancy.
Preparing and executing a lease and/or occupancy agreement.
Maintaining the apartment according to housing quality standards.
Accepting the portion of the rent not included in the ISS Housing Subsidy if applicable.
Contacting the tenant and/or ISS Provider Agency if there are any difficulties and/or any changes to the rent, maintenance, lease renewal, etc.
The ISS Provider Agency Responsibilities
• Viewing and approving the housing unit and reviewing the lease with the prospective tenant.
• Processing and delivering rent checks.
• Assisting the person to coordinate the move and setting up his/her home and utility and cable accounts and in maintaining his/her tenancy in conjunction with others as applicable.
• Ensure that the tenant is meeting their housing responsibilities.
Referring Landlords to OPWDD
If you know of another interested landlord you can refer them to the OPWDD Home and Community Living Unit at 518-473-1973.