The Bridges Program, funded through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) has been in existence since July 1, 1992. It is a State of Minnesota rental assistance program used to provide housing for adults with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI).
Our waiting list is currently open and we are accepting applications from eligible participants from Region 7 E which includes five counties (Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine) See attached application form. It is monitored by the Department of Human Services, Mental Health Division and MHFA. The state rental subsidy is temporary and "bridges" the gap between homelessness, treatment centers, institutional facilities and permanent affordable housing. A Bridges subsidy fosters the integration of persons with SPMI into their communities through a partnership of housing subsidy and supportive services. This program is open to any adult with SPMI regardless of gender, race, creed, national origin, religion, political affiliation, social or economic status, sexual orientation or choice of lifestyle. See attached verification of SPMI form.
For you to be eligible you must:
- be head of household or other household member who is 18 years of age or over;
- have a diagnosed serious and persistent mental illness as defined in the Comprehensive Mental Health Act;
- have gross income at or below 50 percent of the area median income;
- apply for and accept, when offered, a permanent housing subsidy such as a Housing Choice (Section 8) voucher;
- live in a rental unit that meets federal Section 8 Existing Housing Quality Standards
How much is the monthly subsidy? Under the Bridges Program, participants pay 30% of their gross monthly income for rent with no allowance made for utility expenses.
What are eligible payments?
- A direct payment to your landlord for rental
- security deposit
- utility deposit
- contract rent for up to 90 days during a medical or psychiatric crisis
- payment to a utility company for up to 90 days during medial or psychiatric hospitalization
How long do the subsidy payments continue? The Bridges Program is considered a temporary assistance program since participants are required to apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, thus utilizing this program as a ‘bridge’ in the interim. Once a participant becomes eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program they have 60 days to find a place that will accept the Housing Choice Voucher assistance. This may be where they are already living or they may find other arrangements. At that time, the Bridges Program will end and the Voucher Program will begin.
What kind of housing can I rent? Any housing that meets Section 8 Existing Housing Quality Standards Units including apartments, duplexes, townhomes, single family homes and modular homes.