Na’Chelle Kelly wanted to continue her education and get a GED, but unstable housing and shared living spaces combined with her disability made that challenging. Moving into her new apartment as part of the Community Choice Homes program has made all the difference. Community Choice Homes (CCH), a partnership between the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) and the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD), provides affordable rental homes in Montgomery County for people with disabilities who have extremely low income.
Ms. Kelly moved into her new apartment unit on September 8th and credits Independence Now, Montgomery County’s Center for Independent Living, with helping her navigate the process. She is now settled into her own place and has plans for her future. She starts her GED class this Spring.
“Without stable or adequate housing, continuing my education was just a thought,” said Ms. Kelly.
Participants in the Community Choice Housing Program must have an income at or below 30% of area median income (AMI) with a priority for Household income between 10-30% AMI. Participants pay 30% of their monthly household adjusted income for rent and utilities while living in a CCH unit. The program’s goal is to have 30 rental units in Montgomery County for people with disabilities over the next 15 years.
“People with disabilities often have fixed, low incomes and need affordable housing options,” said Chelsea Hayman, Housing Policy Director for Maryland Department of Disabilities. “Our department works with community partners to increase opportunities for independent living.” MDOD maintains housing wait lists for Section 811 Project Rental Housing units and the Weinberg Apartments.
For more information on the CCH program, contact Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County at 240-627-9400 or visit www.hocmc.org. For information about housing programs across the state, contact the Maryland Department of Disabilities at 410-767-3660 or visit their website: www.mdod.maryland.gov.