Capitol Insider

Major Events Last Week

Housing – The Arc Applauds $150 Million in New Funding for Affordable,
Inclusive Housing for People with Disabilities

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
announced awards totaling $150 million to 24 states and the District of Columbia to
develop an estimated 4,584 units of inclusive, affordable supportive housing in the
community for people with significant disabilities and extremely low incomes. HUD
awarded the funds through the recently-modernized Section 811 Supportive Housing
for Persons with Disabilities Project Rental Assistance (PRA) program. The Section
811 PRA program
is designed to assist state housing agencies to expand integrated,
supportive housing opportunities for people with the most significant and long term
disabilities, and was the centerpiece of the Frank Melville Supportive Housing
Investment Act of 2010
. The Arc applauds HUD for its continued progress in
implementing this innovative model.

Family Support – Congressional Caregiving Caucus Launched

A bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Caucus on Caregiving was launched on
March 3 with a news conference on Capitol Hill.   The Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT)
Caucus was created to help bring greater attention to the needs of family caregivers
who help seniors and people with disabilities to live independently, educate Congress on
these issues, and engage legislators to help lead to solutions.  The four Co-Chairs of the
Caucus – Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Michael Bennett (D-CO) and
Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)  – spoke at the
event as did caregivers from each of  their states.  This effort has been supported by
AARP and more than 20 national organizations, including The Arc.   Advocates are
encouraged to ask their Members of Congress to join the caucus.   Watch the webcast of
the event at:

Civil Rights – Americans with Disabilities Act Complaints to be Filed Through
New Electronic Form

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that, as of March 3, 2015,
individuals wishing to file Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaints with the DOJ
will be able to do so electronically on a new form available on the DOJ website.  Upon
submission, filers will receive a reference number which may be used in future
correspondence related to that complaint.  Effective March 15, 2015, the DOJ will no
longer accept complaints by e-mail, however, complaints will still be accepted by U. S.
mail.  To receive a paper complaint form, contact the Department’s ADA Information Line
at 1-800-514-0301 (v); 1-800-514-0383 (tty). To view the new electronic form, visit

Employment – Update on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services provided an update on the Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) via webinar titled “WIOA Vision Webinar.”
Various representatives from the Departments provided updates and resources
intended to assist stakeholders move toward WIOA implementation.  Presenters
stressed the need for stakeholders to begin strengthening and building partnerships
necessary for creation and execution of the state unified plans due in March of 2016.
For more information and resources on WIOA, please click visit the Workforce3 One

Housing – Sign-On Letter for State, Local Advocates to Support Federal
Housing Funding

In Congress, the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations will decide soon how
much funding each appropriations subcommittee will receive in FY 2016 — called the
“302(b)” allocation. It is critical that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development,
and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittees receive the highest possible levels. The
top-line “302(b)” level will determine how much money is available for affordable housing
programs in FY 2016, and will affect funding for critical housing programs for people with
disabilities, such as public housing; Section 8 housing choice vouchers; Section 811
Supporting Housing for Persons with Disabilities; and Homeless assistance programs.

Federal community development funding at the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) has been cut by nearly 30% since FY 2010. HUD-funded agencies
are routinely overwhelmed by applications for rental assistance, and years-long wait lists
for assistance have become dishearteningly normal. The cuts have caused the loss of
70,000 rental assistance opportunities for low income families since 2013. At the same
time, people with disabilities face an ongoing crisis in the lack of affordable, accessible
community housing – a gap will only grow, unless adequate funding is available.

House and Senate appropriators need to hear from you!

Read the letter:

Sign the letter:


Disability Policy Seminar – Get Involved and Get the Facts

The Disability Policy Seminar is taking place April 13th- 15th, in Washington, D.C., at
a new location – Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel. Come and be a
part of the solution by registering today! Early bird registration and discounted pricing
ends March 13th. With so many powerful advocates in Congress moving on, it is time
for the next generation to step up and make a stand. B udget cuts are already
threatening to severely limit, or in some instances, completely cut disability benefits
through Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Disability Insurance. Disability policy is
at a crucial turning point. In order to prevent these drastic cuts and program
eliminations, we must band together and put a face on Disability issues and show
Congress how destructive their actions can be.

Hosted by: The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Association of University Centers on
Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental
Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
(NACDD), and Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)

Promotional Support Provided by: Sibling Leadership Network as well as AAPD

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)