- Psychological Issues
Finding housing can be one of the most difficult factors in dealing with a mental illness. This article is meant to help guide you through the process.
Also, have the lease reviewed before you sign on the dotted line. If you need help with finding a place, filling out forms, or reviewing a lease, your caseworker is a valuable resource. If you do not have a caseworker, contact the advocacy group or the housing specialist at the public mental health agency nearest you.
Programs, such as those administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, exist to open the door to home ownership for people with disabilities and who have low to moderate incomes. The level of help varies with the programs, which are joint ventures between State and local home ownership coalitions. Examples of the kinds of assistance you might receive include: financial counseling; assistance with a down payment, closing costs, and property repairs to meet inspection requirements; and financial support to prevent delinquency on a loan if you are unable to make your mortgage payment due to hospitalization or another unforeseen difficulty.
It is important to keep in mind that not all States and localities have these programs, and funds for these programs are often limited. For a referral to a local agency that has information about such programs, call the Housing Counseling Line of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-569-4287 or 1-888-466-3487.
Public Housing: Although the kinds of housing vary from State to State, public housing programs basically operate as follows:
Other Housing: States and localities also fund housing programs. In addition, some for-profit organizations offer housing for people with disabilities. Contact your local or State mental health authority to find out about licensing and required services. In general, many localities offer several of the following options:
To find the best housing option for you, work closely with your caseworker or the housing coordinator at your CMHC. In addition, your local affiliates of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and the National mental health Association (NMHA) should have information on housing options in your area. Check your telephone directory, or call the national offices for a referral to your local affiliate.