The Bridge Rental Subsidy Program is tenant based rental assistance (TBRA) that gives persons with behavioral health disabilities access to deeply affordable housing. Tenants pay 30% of their income for housing costs (rent and utilities). Currently the wait list for the Philadelphia Housing Authority is closed and when opened in March 2010, approximately 54,000 households signed up for consideration. This process allows persons with behavioral health disabilities priority access to affordable housing. Referrals are made through Community Behavioral Health’s Community Support Services Unit and are reserved currently for persons leaving congregate living situations such as Community Rehabilitative Residences (CRRs). Person will receive an individualized package of supportive services prior to referral to the city’s Permanent Supportive Housing Clearinghouse. Clearinghouse will make the referral to PMHCC and the Bridge Rental Subsidy Program.
Priority tenants have access to rental units from private landlords or property management companies. The subsidy eligibility, inspection, contracting and management process mirrors the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and all landlords are also HCV landlords. The goal is that tenants renting with the Bridge subsidy would apply for a permanent subsidy later when it comes available and, if approved for the permanent subsidy, may not have to move. PMHCC acts as the Housing Administrator to disperse the subsidies. PMHCC works in close cooperation with the City’s Permanent Supportive Housing Clearinghouse to ensure that tenants’ rights are protected and that tenants remain good neighbors as part of their community.