Presentation on State Housing Voucher Programs
COMMITTEE ON TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
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02:16 PM -- State Housing Voucher Programs Presentation
Derek Blake and Trevor Williams, Department of Human Services, and Alison George and Kristin Toombs, Department of Local Affairs, introduced themselves to the committee. Mr. Williams discussed the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program and stated that the program does not administer housing vouchers.
Ms. George provided two handouts to the committee (Attachment L and Attachment M). She discussed the federal requirements related to the housing vouchers, including the Family Unification Program. She discussed the C-SCHARP Program that provides two years of rental assistance to persons exiting prison into homelessness with dual diagnoses. She stated that the program is limited to 30 participants. Ms. George discussed the State Housing Voucher Program, which is focused on people leaving the state mental health institutes. She stated that the Mental Health Vouchers Program has served 198 people.
Ms. George answered questions about the State Housing Voucher Program and the populations served through program. Committee discussion with Ms. George about the administration of vouchers through the department ensued. She stated shared statistics related to housing vouchers waiting lists. Ms. George discussed the need to build additional housing, expanding vouchers, and providing wrap-around services. Committee discussion about the needs for housing in Colorado continued. Ms. George referenced the department's administrative plan on its website. Ms. George answered questions about state-owned vacant buildings.
Mr. Williams discussed the Chaffee Foster Care Independence Program and how youth access housing vouchers. Ms. Toombs stated that all of the vouchers are issued, but recipients may have difficulty finding landlords who will accept the vouchers. Ms. George discussed recent federal changes concerning the voucher programs.