$1 million investment over two years to promote independent living
BALTIMORE, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, today celebrated its partnership with the State of Maryland in announcing the "Affordable Rental Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities" initiative. The joint venture with the Weinberg Foundation, the first of its kind in the nation, was facilitated by the Maryland Department of Disabilities and includes the Maryland Departments of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Health and Mental Hygiene. Under a Memorandum of Understanding, the Weinberg Foundation and these state departments will work together to finance affordable, quality, independent, integrated housing opportunities throughout Maryland for very low-income persons with disabilities who meet certain eligibility criteria.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has committed a $1 million capital grant to this landmark program for the creation of new rental housing for persons with disabilities who receive either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) from Social Security.
"This grant permits the State of Maryland to begin to fill a gap in the coverage of housing programs designed to benefit low-income individuals, by helping some 'very' low-income disabled individuals," said Donn Weinberg, Weinberg Foundation Chairman of the Board. "Although this grant will help only a small percentage of this community, it is a much-needed beginning – a down-payment, if you will, on what we hope can become a trend in our state and our nation. The Foundation is proud to be seen as a national leader in housing for people with disabilities."
Maryland's DHCD will refer interested nonprofit owners of projects receiving DHCD funding awards to the Weinberg Foundation for consideration. The Foundation, in coordination with DHCD, will determine the number of "Weinberg Apartments" within the development, which is expected to be five to ten percent of the total units.
Once the Foundation approves a property, it will transfer its funding to DHCD and the department will be responsible for closing the financing, disbursing the funds for construction, and monitoring the project for compliance with the long-term Weinberg unit requirements. The first Weinberg units are expected to be available for occupancy in late 2012.
Rents for these disabled individuals will be set at 15-30% of area median income (AMI) in contrast to the 60% of AMI rentals generally paid by non-disabled, low-income persons under other programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.
About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to economically disadvantaged people, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities of Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Alvin Awaya, Judge Ellen M. Heller, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Barry I. Schloss, and Chairman of the Board Donn Weinberg. Rachel Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President. For more information please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.
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SOURCE Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation