The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation's Affordable Rental Housing Opportunities Initiative for Persons with Disabilities
The Affordable Rental Housing Opportunities Initiative for Persons with Disabilities is the result of a partnership between The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the State of Maryland created to provide affordable rental housing options for persons with disabilities. Designed to build upon the strengths of the Foundation and the State's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC), this initiative seeks to increase accessible, affordable, and independent housing opportunities in the community.
Funding for eligible projects under this initiative includes $7M in grants from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and financial assistance from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through its Multifamily Rental Housing Programs. Capital grants are available as an incentive for owners of eligible rental housing developments with non-profit involvement to designate units for occupancy at affordable rents specifically for very low-income persons with disabilities.
Weinberg-funded units commonly referred to as "Weinberg Apartments," house non-elderly, disabled persons at 10-30 percent of Area Gross Median Income (AGMI). Eligibility criteria include the ability of a tenant to pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) are partners in the initiative and MDOD qualifies eligible households and refers potential tenants to property managers. All three State agencies work together to ensure that these units remain occupied.
In order to qualify, an Applicant must verify their disability and their receipt of SSI and/or SSDI income. Interested applicants must be referred by their Case Manager utilizing a web-based system created specifically for this initiative on the Social Serve website.
In order to qualify for assistance, applicants must:
- Be between the ages of 18-62
- Be disabled and receiving SSI or SSDI
- Have a gross household income at or between 10-30 percent of AGMI (Area Gross Median Income) in the Maryland county in which they wish to reside
- Not have a criminal background that includes a lifetime sex offense registry requirement
- Not have a criminal background that includes conviction of the production of methamphetamines in Federally-assisted property
These criteria are subject to additions or modifications. This list should not be considered comprehensive or all-inclusive. Applicants are drawn from the Waiting List as units that meet their needs become available.
As of February 2020 there are 27 Weinberg Apartments built and occupied, or leasing in the following counties: Dorchester, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George's, Somerset, and Wicomico. An additional 6 units are under construction or in the pipeline for construction in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties and Baltimore City. Additional units will be added to the pipeline over time. All vacancies are filled through the waitlist.