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Shelter Plus Care

On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act amended and reauthorized the three separate McKinney-Vento homeless assistance programs, including the Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care Program, and Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation SRO Program into one single grant program known as the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program.

The former Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Rental Assistance Program provides rental assistance in connection with matching supportive services. S+C assists hard to serve homeless individuals with disabilities and their families. These individuals primarily include those with serious mental illness, chronic problems with alcohol and/or drugs, and/or HIV/AIDS or related diseases. To be eligible for the Shelter Plus Care program, participants must be homeless, very low income, display the disability of chronic mental illness, chronic substance abuse or AIDS or AIDS-related illness and contribute 30% of their income toward rent (if the person has an income).

The program provides rental subsidies to be used for permanent housing for eligible persons at the fair market rate as established by HUD. Rental assistance subsidies must be matched in aggregate by supportive services that are equal in value to the amount of rental assistance and appropriate to the needs of the population/persons served. All rental units must pass inspection to meet housing quality standards, and must be inspected at least annually thereafter.

Supportive services are services that address the special needs of eligible persons and provide appropriate services that include but are not limited to: health care, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, assistance with entitlements, family reunification, and case management. In essence, any services that will help the participant maintain their stability and independence.

There are multiple S+C Rental Assistance projects in operation throughout Michigan. Access to these programs is coordinated through local Continuums of Care via local Housing Assessment and Resource Agencies (HARAs). A complete list of HARAs in Michigan can be found on the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) website here:

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