A rent subsidy program for handicapped Iowans could help more of them. Program manager Rose Boccella says the Department of Human Services will help with rent for clients who’d otherwise face going into nursing home care. It’s for people who are on Medicaid, poor and also elderly or disabled, or someone in end stages of AIDS who’s still able to live at home. Boccella says the rent program is for Iowans who are already on a “waiver program” to get assistance living with an illness or disability. Iowa has six waivers, for clients who are mentally retarded, elderly, physically disabled, have AIDS or are ill and handicapped. She says the program can not only offer welcome help with the cost of living, it’ll prevent such clients from getting too MUCH costly care, in a nursing home. Without the rent subsidy, people getting services for their disability could have to enter a nursing facility. Boccella says while Medicaid clients are taking advantage of the program in big cities, it’s hardly being used in smaller towns and rural counties, and there’s money going un-used. For information, a local phone book will guide you to Human Services and a counselor can give details of the program that’ll pay a big share of rent for qualifying people.
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