Service Coordinators assist elderly individuals and persons with disabilities, living in federally-assisted multifamily housing, to obtain needed supportive services from community agencies. Services are intended to prevent premature and inappropriate institutionalization.
Independent living with assistance is a preferable, lower cost housing alternative to institutionalization for many frail older persons and persons with disabilities. An estimated 365,000 persons living in HUD-assisted housing experience some form of frailty, and this number will increase as people living in those units grow older. By arranging for delivery of some services, Service Coordinators can extend the length and improve the quality of independent living.
HUD provides funding through three mechanisms at this time: (1) a national competition with other properties for a limited amount of grant funding, (2) the use of the development's residual receipts or excess income, or (3) budget-based rent increases or special rent adjustments.
Owners of Section 202, Section 8, Section 221(d)(3) below-market interest rate, and Section 236 developments may apply for funding. Eligibility for grant funding is limited to those developments designed for the elderly and persons with disabilities, including any such building within a mixed-use project originally designed for them or where the owner gives preferences in tenant selection (with HUD approval).
Service Coordinators can serve residents who are elderly or have a disability. "Elderly" is defined as age 62 or older. "Disabled" is defined three ways: 1) has a disability as defined in Section 223 of the Social Security Act; 2) has a physical, mental, or emotional impairment expected to be of long, continued, and indefinite duration that impedes the individual's ability to live independently, or 3) has a developmental disability.
Service Coordinator program funding covers service coordinator salaries and fringe benefits, training, quality assurance, and relevant administrative expenses. Service coordinators assess resident needs; identify and link residents to appropriate services, and monitor the delivery of services. Services involve activities of residents' daily living (ADLs), such as eating, dressing, bathing, grooming, transferring, and home management. A service coordinator may also educate residents about what services are available and how to use them, and help residents build informal support networks with other residents, family, and friends. The service coordinator may not require any elderly or disabled family to accept the supportive services.
An annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announces funding for new grants. The NOFA provides all eligibility criteria and application submission information. Development owners may request use of residual receipts, excess income, or a budget-based rent increase or special rent adjustment for the purpose of hiring a Service Coordinator at any time, following guidance in the Office of Housing's Management Agent Handbook 4381.5, Revision-2, Change-2, Chapter 8. See HUDCLIPS for a list of current NOFAs.
In Federal fiscal year 2006, HUD awarded 75 grants for a total of $12,105,849. These grants will serve 78 developments, with a total of 6,038 units.
Legislative authority for Service Coordinators in Assisted Housing includes Section 808 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (NAHA) (42 USC 8012), which amended Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 [12 USC 1701 q (g)]. The Housing and Community Development Act Amendments of 1992 amended Section 808 through Sections 674 and 677, and added Sections 675 and 676. section 851 of the American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act of 2000 (Pub.L. 106-569, further amended these Acts, allowing Service Coordinators to serve low-income elderly and disabled persons living in the vicinity of the development served by the grant.