Champion Spotlight – Housing Choices

HIF Champion Spotlight

Enjoy rewarding lives with a place called home
Housing Choices’ mission is to enhance the lives of people with developmental and other disabilities and their families by creating and supporting quality, affordable housing opportunities. They work to ensure that their clients enjoy rewarding lives by securing the foundation of community living: a home.

Housing Choices first started 25 years ago as an advocacy group made up of parents and service providers for adults with developmental and other disabilities who wanted to live independently in the community but, because of their limited incomes, were unable to do so in our high cost region. Since then, they expanded to become a direct service provider for Regional Center consumers with developmental and other disabilities in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and San Mateo Counties. 

For a person with a developmental disability which can affect cognitive and social functioning the key to accessibility is services. With their housing navigation services they support both adults looking to live independently, as well as families with children who are consumers of Regional Center services, to find and apply for affordable housing in their community. 

They also partner with affordable housing developers, who agree to include set-aside units in typical affordable housing developments for people with developmental disabilities, and the Regional Center which funds the on-site supportive services that Housing Choices provides to keep residents with developmental disabilities stably housed. The result of these partnerships is deeply affordable housing in coordination with on-site supportive services which expands housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities who might otherwise be displaced from the community.

The impact of working together
Housing Choices has been a long-time HIF partner agency and our collaboration intensified with so many of their clients adversely impacted when the pandemic hit in 2020. Some residents feared eviction and had to pay back rent or pay current rent so their case managers turned to our Emergency Housing Fund (EHF) for help to bridge the gap.

As Housing Choices worked to continue to stabilize more clients in their homes, through our Emergency Housing Fund, they also helped families apply for EHF grants to be used for security deposits. Often this is a burden to the families they serve, and deters them from going through with the move-in process because they cannot afford the security deposit on top of the first month’s rent all at once.

Close team collaboration
“Housing Choices does amazing work in the community and we’re proud to support their efforts. Since 2019, HIF distributed 65 EHF grants, totaling more than $122,000, to their clients so they can stay securely housed,” said Steve Sullivan, Executive Director, Housing Industry Foundation. “Our partnership extends well beyond grants as our Programs team works very closely with their stellar team of case managers to get our grants to the people who need them the most, before a crisis arises.”

“Clara has been extremely responsive and helpful to Housing Choices in providing updates with missing documents and when checks are approved and disbursed. We are grateful to have a resource that we can provide to our clients who are in financial need and no longer have to stress about whether or not they should move or take out a loan to cover expenses,” said Dennise Jauregui, Interim Executive Director, Housing Choices.

HIF is fortunate to have so many great supporters that are truly the Champions of our mission. Without our board members, volunteers, donors, and community agency partners, we could not serve families and individuals in need with our Homeless Prevention Programs. Check out other HIF Champion Spotlights.

Enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by creating and supporting quality, affordable housing opportunities.