PROVIDENCE, RI – In an effort to increase accessible rental housing opportunities for low-income individuals with disabilities, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced $395,940 in federal Section 811 voucher funding for the Providence Housing Authority. 

Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Section 811 Mainstream Voucher program helps provide rental assistance so people with developmental and physical disabilities who are preparing to exit institutional care or at risk of homelessness can transition to independent living in the community.

Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), helped lead the effort to provide $13 million for new 811 Mainstream Vouchers in the enacted fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, and also increase funding for the program to $385 million in the enacted fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill, for a combined total of $398 million.  Prior to his collaborative efforts to expand these housing opportunities, new 811 Mainstream Vouchers had not been funded since 2010.  These funds will create more than 48,000 new vouchers nationwide.

Senator Reed estimates the nearly $400,000 federal grant for the Providence Housing Authority will support rental assistance for nearly 50 new households, including many people transitioning out of institutional settings.

“Too often, people with disabilities or special needs are shut out of the rental market and this is an investment in providing greater opportunity and a stronger community for all,” said Senator Reed.  “Accessible, supportive housing can mean the difference between living independently in the community and living on the streets, or ending up in more costly institutional care.  The Providence Housing Authority and their partners do an excellent job of linking health and housing services and connecting folks to the support they need.”

“The Providence Housing Authority (PHA) and its Board are very excited to receive this Mainstream Voucher award. Mainstream vouchers diversify our portfolio of housing options, allowing us to better serve individuals and families with disabilities.  We are fortunate to have had an outpouring of support from partner agencies who are committed to working with us and to providing the essential wrap-around services needed to ensure success for those receiving Vouchers.  The PHA is eager to add this much needed resource to the community and are motivated to serve this vulnerable population with high quality housing and services,” said Melissa Sanzaro, Executive Director of the Providence Housing Authority.

Those with disabilities who earn less than 30 percent of the Providence area’s median income are eligible to apply for assistance.  For more information on the Section 811 program and eligibility requirements, visit: