Housing Support Services

Compass strives to support the highest level of independence possible for all people, including independent and individualized housing solutions for every situation. Our Housing Support Services (HSS) team is dedicated to finding the best individualized solution for every level of ability and income.

Housing Support Services, or “HSS”, is a waiver service available under all three DDA waivers. The service is divided into three types of activities and assistance:

  • Housing Information and Assistance
  • Housing Transition
  • Tenancy Sustaining Services

Types of Assistance

Housing Information & Assistance

For individuals interested in moving from their current home – whether that is a group home, family home, or existing independent/supported living, HSS will help you…

  • Discover your housing wants – location, style of housing, renting v. owning, number of bedrooms, as part of your Housing Assessment
  • Discover your housing needs – rent subsidy programs, mortgage programs, staffing needs, benefit programs to support affordability, as part of your Housing Assessment
  • Apply for housing programs such as the DDA Rent Subsidy, Montgomery County HOC, Section 811, Weinberg Apartments, and more
  • Search for housing for rent or for sale that is affordable to you
  • Create a budget that makes sense for your wants and needs
  • Create a Housing Plan, which becomes part of your PCP
  • Educate you on managing a home, the basics of renting or owning your own home, financial literacy, maintaining a budget, and more!

Housing Transition

When someone receiving Housing Support Services identifies a new place to live, they begin receiving Housing Transition services. HSS will help you…

  • Review and update your budget as needed
  • Create a moving plan with your current staff or family
  • Implement your Housing Plan, which is part of your PCP
  • Resolve disputes, request reasonable accommodations and modifications
  • Complete paperwork for housing subsidy when and if one is awarded to you
  • Complete tenant training in your new home

Tenancy Sustaining Services

Once an individual has chosen a home and moved in, or has decided to stay where they are (if living independently or in Supported Living), HSS will help you…

  • Keep your home affordable by managing your housing-related benefits
  • Recertify for any housing programs or benefits you are enrolled in
  • Resolve disputes and develop relationships with property management, maintenance staff, neighbors, etc.
  • Identify and intervene with other staff support if behaviors that may jeopardize tenancy arise
  • Pay bills and manage your money
  • Review and update Housing Plan and budget as needed
  • Prevent eviction by linking you with community resources and creative supports

How Does It Work?

The Process

Your first HSS meeting will be a Housing Assessment with your HSS coordinator. This is a guided questionnaire that helps us learn about your housing needs and wants and provides you an opportunity to learn more about the service.

  • After your assessment, your coordinator will create a Housing Plan which will be reviewed by your entire support team. It will include…
  • Barriers to housing and how to overcome them
  • A service plan to achieve your goal
  • A budget to follow once your goal is achieved
  • An emergency plan

What if the person I support, or my family member, isn't ready to move?

Adding Housing Supports as a service does not necessarily mean that you are ready to move out. HSS helps you get ready with Compass trainings like…

  • How to be a Good Neighbor (and Tenant)
  • Household Management
  • Renting 101
  • Planning for the Unexpected
  • Money Management and Financial Empowerment

Finding affordable housing takes time. HSS does not and cannot help people move immediately. Adding HSS does not commit a person to moving from their current housing.

But what if I can't afford to live 'on my own'?

Your HSS coordinator will work with you to complete applications for programs you are eligible for and interested in, such as…

  • Section 811
  • DDA Rent Subsidy Program
  • Weinberg Apartments
  • Money Follows the Person (MFP)
  • HOC (Montgomery County only)
  • HomeAbility (mortgage product)

Compass also takes a unique approach to finding affordable housing and can help take your search to the next level. Aside from the popular waitlists above, your HSS coordinator will also research project-based options in the county/counties you wish to live in, single room rentals, senior housing, etc. as applicable.

Key Takeway

Moving from a family home or a group home to a more independent setting does not mean that a person’s supports disappear.

A person’s level of support does not need to change when they move to their ideal home. Supported Living or Personal Supports can still assist them with day-to-day needs; other services like Meaningful Day, Behavior Support, etc. can continue with minimal effect on service.

How do I request HSS?

At your next PCP meeting, add a housing-related goal to your plan and ask your CCS about Housing Support Services.

The housing goal should express a desire to learn more about housing options and/or about moving to your own home. For example…

“I will learn more about my housing options.”

“I will choose where and with whom I live.”

“I will move to an apartment closer to my family.”

For more information about our Family Support Service, please email Ray Newby, Housing Support Services Coordinator, at Rnewby@compassmaryland.org or call 301-625-2406 ext. 1134.