HB 4400 and SB 2251

5/1/19 Update

There will be no more work on HB4400 during the 2019 Legislative Session

4/26/19 Update

Thank you to everyone who attended the 4/23/19 hearing, called or emailed members of the Texas House of Representatives Human Services Committee to state your position on HB4400. There was tremendous response for and against this bill. Your responses assist the Committee in determining how to move forward. The bill is currently in committee with discussions on how to build consensus on creating more housing options for people with disabilities. You can keep up to date here. Also, you can register for email alerts for any bill here.

CPSH appreciates all your voices on this bill. Feel free to continue communicating with the Author (Julie Johnson) and the Committee. CPSH will continue to keep you updated on our actions and our need of your voices.

Texas House of Representatives Human Services Committee:

candy.noble@house.state.tx.us, gina.hinojosa@house.state.tx.us, james.frank@house.state.tx.us, joe.deshotel@house.state.tx.us, julie.johnson@house.state.tx.us, maureen.metteauer@house.texas.gov, rick.miller@house.state.tx.us, stephanie.klick@house.state.tx.us, terry.meza@house.texas.gov, toni.rose@house.state.tx.us, travis.Clardy@house.texas.gov


April 18, 2019

For the 2019 Texas Legislative Session two identical bills have been submitted to the Texas House Texas House of Representatives Human Services Committee, and the Texas Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

HB 4400 and SB 2251 request State funding for new construction for a 10 year pilot program in a very restricted geographic area of Texas that provides housing for 100 individuals. CPSH encourages you to read the bills. They are short.

Since there are several new committee members who are not aware of CPSH, we are taking this opportunity to respond to the bills and share the mission and work of CPSH. The information about CPSH in the response has already been shared with you at meetings, workshops and through emails.

We respect your views of what types of housing options you and your loved one’s want and hope you will share them with the Committees. Feel free to use any of the information in the CPSH letter. The email addresses are:

Texas Senate Committee on Health & Human Services:

beverly.powell@senate.texas.gov, borris.miles@senate.texas.gov, bryan.law@senate.state.gov,charles.perry@senate.texas.gov, dawn.buckingham@senate.texas.gov, donna.campbell@senate.texas.gov, kel.seliger@senate.texas.gov, lois.kolkhorst@senate.texas.gov, nathan.johnson@senate.texas.gov, pete.flores@senate.texas.govA

CPSH Letter

4/15/19

Subject: HB 4400 and SB 2251

Texas House of Representatives Human Services Committee,
Texas Senate Committee on Health & Human Services,

COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING (CPSH) is one of the few nonprofits dedicated to increasing person-centered independent living in North Texas. The organization started because several board members and their family members have been looking for 10-15 years to find housing options that meet individual needs.  We have been in existence for over eight years. In the last four years, 4 board members’ loved ones and about 80 people in the DFW area have moved into safe, affordable housing of their choice.

COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING has thousands of active members in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and more across Texas. We collaborate in the community to increase single-family and multi-family unit residential options (an alternative to state-owned/agency owned or leased residences) that welcome individuals with disabilities in every zip code and encourage Medicaid service agencies to support their consumers where they live.  We have been to Austin to meet with leaders at HHSC numerous times and have testified at several committee meetings.  We are always happy to discuss our approach, results, and successes assisting those with disabilities to achieve person-centered independent living.

HB 4400  and SB 2251 are clearly directed to your constituents living with adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). As you are aware, over 500,000 Texas citizens with IDD face lifelong challenges and need to live in safe and affordable housing that also optimizes state budgetary allotments and encourages financial independence.

We are in total agreement with your goal of reducing the number of individuals residing and receiving services in Texas State-Supported Living Centers, and providing residential options in Texas communities for all individuals with IDD.  Individuals must have access to residential options including non-disability specific settings (HCBS Final Rule). They must not be steered to housing by specific providers associated with a particular real estate development (Olmsted Decision Guidance/Principles).

We reject the notion that new builds are the only approach to increase housing for people with disabilities as there are numerous other successful options that are private pay or Medicaid-approved. An example of a successful option is our concept of the “Neighborhood Home”.  This is person-centered and being reproduced throughout North Texas.  Neighborhood Homes are owned by individuals who include people with disabilities as desired tenants. We are identifying methods to decrease rent to 30% of income. Some residents use Medicaid funding to assist them in their desire to live in these homes.
 
Our Neighborhood Homes are currently in Carrollton, Irving, Plano, and Richardson.  In the near future, we expect to announce homes in Dallas, Denton, Garland, and McKinney. We represent thousands of your constituents--individuals with disabilities and their families, caregivers, and proponents of the least restrictive residential options--who desire support services in their homes, and prefer to work and socialize in neighborhoods where they live.  Attached is a case study that shows the impact of just one of the Neighborhood Homes in Richardson, Texas.  

We welcome fresh legislation that brings about the changes needed. Please consider the following input as you amend HB 4400 and SB 2251 or craft new legislation to impact statewide citizens affected by the lack of safe, affordable housing options for people with IDD:

  • A pilot program in a very restricted geographic area of Texas that provides housing to 100 individuals is costly per individual, will be difficult to justify, and perpetuates the service-centered, planned community that Federal and State regulations are moving away from.

  • Constructing new housing is more expensive than using existing housing in locations where individuals with disabilities could choose to live near families, their preferred medical providers, employment opportunities, transportation, and social opportunities.  Living close to preferred amenities reduces overall cost of living and increases quality of life.

  • As written, the bills will only serve a single non-profit organization that will not only operate with autonomy but is offering to report only once a year. 

  • It is not clear in this pilot program how many people moving from SSLC will be served.

  • This program does not appear to encourage choice or coordination of efforts from various sources. 


Our only goal is to see Texas adults with disabilities living safely and independently in the most fiscally responsible way.  The Neighborhood Homes approach will allow more people to be supported throughout Texas.

We want change, and we want choice, but most of all, we want to cooperate to create what is best and fiscally efficient.  For our children, our neighborhoods, our wallets, and the great state of Texas.

CPSH requests the opportunity to work with legislative representatives and others to amend this bill or create new legislation that focuses on person-centered independent living options such as Neighborhood Homes.

Most respectfully,


COMMUNITY FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTED HOUSING

Board of Directors

Robin LeoGrande - CPSH Co-founder/President, 214-632-8115
Mother of son with disabilities
Texas Instruments, Engineer Director (Retired)
Irene Niemotka - CPSH  Co Founder, Director of Finance
Mother of daughter with disabilities
US Youth Soccer, Finance Manager (Retired)
Kimberly Rogers - CPSH Director, Tarrant County Liaison
Mother of son with disabilities
Co-founder, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Parents Supporting Parents Group
Jane Drake - CPSH Director, Content Management
Mother of son with disabilities
HMS, Proposal Editor and Compliance Officer
Peggy Shadduck, Ph.D. - CPSH Director, College Relations
Mother of son with disabilities
University of North Texas, New College, Academic Associate Dean
Kelly Thompson - CPSH Director, MarCom
Volunteer, Special Olympics
ChicExecs PR &  Branding Agency, Retail Strategy Firm, Digital Marketing Manager
Jocelyn Chafouleas - CPSH Director, Business Development
Mother of son with disabilities
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Grant Managery