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January 2011



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 The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Effective June 22, 2009

President Obama Commemorates Anniversary of Olmstead and Announces New
Initiatives to Assist Americans with Disabilities

On the 10th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in the
case of Olmstead v. L.C., President Barack Obama today celebrated that
anniversary and launched “The Year of Community Living,” a new effort to
assist Americans with disabilities.

Specifically, the President has directed Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Shaun Donovan to work together to identify ways to improve access to
housing, community supports, and independent living arrangements. As
part of this effort, later today, Secretaries Sebelius and Donovan will
announce several new initiatives including details about increased
numbers of Section 8 vouchers and enhanced interagency coordination to
address this critical civil rights issue. The initiative also will
include listening sessions conducted by HHS across the country to hear
the voices and stories of Americans and to keep the President’s pledge
to be as open and transparent as possible.

“The Olmstead ruling was a critical step forward for our nation,
articulating one of the most fundamental rights of Americans with
disabilities: Having the choice to live independently, ” said President
Obama. “I am proud to launch this initiative to reaffirm my
Administration’ s commitment to vigorous enforcement of civil rights for
Americans with disabilities and to ensuring the fullest inclusion of all
people in the life of our nation.”

In the Olmstead case, the Court held that the unjustified institutional
isolation of people with disabilities is a form of unlawful
discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since that
time, progress has been made. Many individuals have successfully
transitioned to community settings, but waiting lists for community
services have grown considerably and many individuals who would like to
receive community services are not able to obtain them.

To help remedy that problem, the Obama Administration provided over $140
million in the Recovery Act funding for independent living centers
across the country. The Administration acknowledges that strides have
been made, and knows and accepts that there is much work to do in order
to maximize the choices and opportunities for individuals to receive
long-term services and supports in institutional and community settings.

The President noted that his Administration looks forward to continued
engagement with the disability community to achieve these goals.

Take a look at our innovative new Public Service Announcement produced with
the Dan Marino Foundation at http://www.nomyths. org

If you like what we do, help support the Autistic Self Advocacy Network by
making a donation at:
https://www. change.org/ donation/ create?charity_ id=211198

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410

HUD No. 09-095 FOR
Donna White Monday
(202) 708-0685 June 22,
http://www.hud. gov/news/ index.cfm

*Agency seeking comment on how to allocate vouchers to support independent
living *

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today
joined President Obama’s commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the
Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision by announcing that it will offer rental
assistance to 4,000 non-elderly families with disabilities, including 1,000
vouchers specifically targeted to those transitioning out of nursing homes
and other care facilities. Through its funding notice, HUD is seeking
comment from public housing authorities and others to ensure this critically
needed assistance is distributed and administered in the most effective
manner possible.

Today’s announcement coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Supreme
Court’s ruling in Olmstead v. L.C. & E.W. which affirmed the rights of
individuals with disabilities to live independently. To commemorate this
landmark decision, President Obama declared 2009 the Year of Community

“As individuals with disabilities leave institutional care, it is essential
that they have housing options that will allow them to live independently, “
said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “As we prepare to launch this initiative,
we also want to make certain that we get input from local housing experts,
disability rights advocates and others who can help us target this
assistance to those who need it most. We also recognize how important it is
for HUD and HHS to coordinate our resources to enable community-living for
those individuals that live with disabilities. “

HUD’s Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will make $30 million in voucher
assistance available to support approximately 4,000 Housing Choice Vouchers
for non-elderly disabled families. HUD is making a 1,000 of those vouchers
available specifically for individuals transitioning out of nursing homes
and other institutions. These vouchers directly support a $1.75 billion
initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help
persons who reside in health care settings move to community-based living.
While HHS’ Money Follows the Person (MFP) program offers health care, case
management and other services to qualified families, it does not include
funding for housing. HUD’s funding initiative is designed to fill that gap.

The remaining 3,000 Housing Choice Vouchers are available to assist any
non-elderly disabled family. The Department is encouraging local housing
authorities to give strong consideration to using some or all of these
vouchers to provide housing for those non-elderly persons that are living in
the community, but are at-risk for institutionalizatio n.


*HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership;
creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and
supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living
with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development
and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and
its programs is available on the Internet at **www.hud.gov* <http://www.hud. gov/>
* and **espanol.hud. gov* <http://espanol. hud.gov/>*.*

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