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Hope for Elderly Independence (Hope IV)

The HOPE IV program is a demonstration that combines rental assistance with case management and supportive services to help very low-income, frail, elderly persons remain in an independent living environment and to prevent their premature placement in nursing homes. This program is limited to those public housing agencies (PHAs) that were selected to participate in the original demonstration. HUD has not provided any new funding for this demonstration since fiscal year (FY) 1993.

This program is designed to explore how HUD can support the increasing needs of a very low-income, frail, elderly population by combining Section 8 rental assistance with supportive services, to enhance the quality of life and avoid unnecessary or premature institutionalization.

Type of Assistance:
HOPE IV provides grants for Section 8 rental vouchers and supportive services to income-qualified, frail, elderly individuals. HUD provides 40 percent of the supportive services costs, grantees must provide funds for 50 percent, and participants pay 10 percent, provided that this does not exceed 20 percent of the participant's income. In the rental voucher program, PHAs pay the property owner a subsidy that is the difference between the tenant portion of the rent (30 percent of adjusted income) and the HUD-established fair market rent for the area. Assisted households may continue to receive that Section 8 subsidy as long as they remain eligible.

Eligible Grantees:
Public housing agencies (State, county, and municipal governmental agencies authorized to develop or operate housing assistance programs) could apply for funding to operate HOPE IV programs.

Eligible Customers:
This program can serve residents who are elderly or have a disability, whose income is no greater than 50 percent of the area's median, and who live in or are willing to move into a rental unit that meets Section 8 Housing Quality Standards. An elderly household is one where the head of household is 62 years of age or older. In order to qualify as a person with disabilities the applicant must have (1) a disability that meets the standards for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD or SSI); (2) a physical, mental, or emotional impairment that is expected to be of long, continued, and indefinite duration, that substantially impedes the individual's ability to live independently, and that could be improved by more suitable housing conditions (for example: someone in a wheelchair who is working, so not in receipt of Social Security benefits because of work and income; or someone with a neurological disorder not severe enough to prevent work, but making it difficult for the person to climb stairs and reach high or low); or (3) a developmental disability.

Eligible Activities:
Program funding covers service coordinator salaries as well as administrative and training expenses. Service coordinators assess residents needs, identify and link residents to appropriate services, and monitor the delivery of nonmedical services. Eligible social services include housekeeping, transportation, home-delivered meals, inhome health care, personal care, meals at a senior center, recreation, and counseling. A service coordinator may also educate residents about what services are available and how to use them or 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. A Professional Assessment Committee (PAC), in conjunction with a service coordinator, determines each participant's condition and care.

No new applications are being accepted.

Funding Status:
In FY 1993, grants for supportive services for the frail, elderly totaled $9.9 million. In that first round of funding, HUD awarded grants to 16 agencies for projects assisting from 25 to 150 persons for a 5-year demonstration period. No new funding has been provided since FY 1993.

Technical Guidance:
HOPE IV is authorized by Section 803 of the National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8012). The HOPE IV guidelines were published in the Federal Register on February 4, 1991 (56 FR 4506). The application submission and processing requirements contained in the February 4, 1991, guidelines were amended by notice published in the Federal Register on May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22816). It is administered by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Assisted Housing Delivery, telephone the office at (202) 708-0477.

For More Information:
Additional information can be obtained from HUD USER. See Targeting the Elderly to Meet the Housing Needs of Very Low and Low Income Families (#6704), Attacking Homelessness: Portland's Strategy (#6421), and Evaluation of the HOPE for Elderly Independence Demonstration Program: Second Interim Report (#7319). Also available are Comparison Report: Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP); and HOPE for Elderly Independence Demonstration Program (HOPE IV).