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Mayor Fenty Announces New Supportive Housing for People with Mental Illness

Thursday, May 1, 2008
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announces the creation of 300 units of affordable housing.

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(Washington, DC) Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today joined Stephen T. Baron, Director, District Department of Mental Health (<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>DMH), and Leila Finucane Edmonds, Director, Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), to announce a new initiative to create 300 units of affordable housing for the exclusive use of individuals with mental illness.


“We are committed to ensuring that District residents in need of public mental health services receive the support they need,” said Mayor Fenty in a statement issued today. “This partnership will provide much needed affordable housing combined with flexible mental health services that promote recovery.”


DMH will transfer $14 million to DHCD to help finance the creation or renovation of 300 housing units over the next three years. The agreement with DHCD will increase the number of residents receiving housing support by 50 percent. Currently, 700 people with mental illness receive a housing subsidy from DMH. 


“We’ve heard over and over that access to affordable housing is the number one desire for individuals with mental illness," said Baron. “This partnership with DHCD will help us address access, and we will continue to provide flexible mental health services and support when wanted or needed.”


DHCD will approve funding for 150 supportive units in the first year, with DMH consumers able to take up residence by next May. Funding for the remaining 150 units will be put in place within two years, allowing DMH clients to occupy those units within 36 months.  


“We are pleased to partner with DMH in a way that will allow the City to better serve residents with mental illnesses,” said Leila Finucane Edmonds, DHCD Director. “This undertaking will be a forerunner for housing and other supportive services for the District of Columbia special needs population.”