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Grant to fund referral system for rental housing for disabled in Md.

Maryland health officials won a $330,000 federal grant to create a system with state housing and disabilities officials that can refer those with disabilities to rental housing.

With the money from the Real Choice System Change grant program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the state was required to set up a system to find affordable housing to people with disabilities.

The state can now apply for money from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Section 811 PRA program, which pays the difference between the cost of housing and what the federal government pays. It can also apply for future housing money through the system.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created the system — the Maryland Partnership for Affordable Housing — with the Maryland Department of Disabilities the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The money will supplement other efforts to place those with disabilities in housing. Last May, the state and the Weinberg Foundation announced a $1 million grant to help create 25 affordable units over two years. The state also created a bridge subsidy program in 2006 that offered subsidies for 112 low income people with disabilities for rental housing.

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

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