The Independent Living Initiative Program (ILI) is a short-term and one-time assistance program for adult consumers and children receiving enhanced benefits services through Alliance Behavioral Healthcare. It is intended for individuals who are behind on their rent and/or utility payments who are facing possible eviction or utility disconnection or those who need start-up funds to move into permanent housing following short term life circumstances.
All applications for the Independent Living Initiative must be submitted using the web-based tool. Paper applications will no longer be processed.
In order to maximize the resources of the ILI program, Applicants may only receive assistance once per fiscal year and will not be granted an extension on their original approval for assistance unless there are compelling circumstances. These funds are only for Applicants who “if not for these funds will become homeless.” If the Applicants have assets or other financial supports-such as help from friends or family they may be ineligible for the Independent Living Initiative Funds. In order to qualify for the program Applicants must be homeless, imminently homeless or precariously housed. This program is also designed to house Applicants who need initial move in costs (security deposit, utility deposit, etc.) required by potential landlords. Alliance strongly encourages Applicants to seek assistance through social service or other charitable agencies before seeking assistance through the ILI program.
Rent payments must be issued directly to the landlord. The lease agreement must be in the name of the Applicant seeking assistance or in the name of the parents/legal guardians if the Applicants are children. Payments will not be issued to landlord for damage or work order fees. Alliance is not responsible for any lost or stolen checks due to incorrect mailing address.
Monthly rental assistance amounts typically average around $500.00 for Single Households and $750.00 for Family Households. All applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awarded assistance appropriate to the Applicants’ need and risk factors. Alliance requests that service providers only request appropriate amount of needed assistance for Applicants.
Security deposits must be paid back to Alliance upon termination of lease. If any portion of the deposit cannot be refunded, the landlord will need to document in writing to Alliance applicable charges reducing the deposit amount.
If Applicants have received a security deposit within the past year and Alliance has not received a refund for the security deposit, the Applicants will be ineligible to receive assistance with a security deposit for next 12 months.
Maximum security deposit amount is not to exceed the monthly rental amount. Exceptions to maximum security deposits can be made based on extenuating circumstances.
Utility Payments and/or Deposits
Utility payments must be issued directly to the identified vendor. Payments will not be issued to landlord for excessive utility cost when the utilities are included in the monthly rental rate.
Utility assistance amounts typically average around $300.00. All applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awarded assistance appropriate to the Applicants’ need. Alliance requests that service providers only request appropriate amount of needed assistance for Applicants and after all other charitable donations have been exhausted.
Applicants must be current consumers of Alliance Behavioral Healthcare with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI), Severe Mental Illness (SMI), a developmental disability and/or a substance use diagnosis. In the case of a child, the Applicants must be receiving enhanced benefit services authorized by Alliance Behavioral Healthcare. All Applicants must be homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness to be eligible for assistance.
The Applicants must be a resident of Cumberland, Durham, Johnston or Wake County. Applicants may only receive ILI funding from their county of residency. Residency is defined as a county address documented by photo ID or official mail. Homeless Applicants may provide verification from a homeless service provider as proof of county residency (i.e. CHIN printout, shelter worker signed verification letter). In the event of undocumented Applicants, proof of residency may be established by Applicants submission of a utility bill in the parent or head of household’s name.
An event has occurred which is expected to result in housing and/or utility loss within 30 days or less.
No Resources or Viable Plan to Resolve Crisis
No other options are possible for resolving the crisis. Without this assistance the Applicants would become or remain literally homeless, i.e. staying in a shelter, car, or place not meant for human habitation.
Applicants with incomes at or below 30% of Area Median Income are eligible to receive financial assistance.
Reasonable Expectation for Sustainable Solution
At the initial assessment for assistance, there is a reasonable expectation that the crisis can be resolved and existing housing or relocation to housing can be sustained by the Applicants after services and assistance have ended.
Application Submission Procedures
- Contract Providers of Alliance Behavioral Healthcare must complete the ILI User Training to gain access to the ILI application via the internet. Upon completion of the ILI User Training and the submission of a valid company email address, Alliance ILI administrators will register care coordinators and contract providers. Upon successful ILI registration, a system generated password will be sent to the valid company email address.
- Before starting the application care coordinators and contract providers should verify they have access to the following applicable documentation for submission during the application process: household income verification, copy of identification documents, intent to rent letter, eviction notice, lease agreement, utility disconnection notice and/or W-9.
- Alliance requires all vendors to complete a W-9 tax form PRIOR to receiving initial assistance from Alliance. Alliance cannot issue any payments to vendors who refuse to complete a W-9. Whenever possible, providers should submit email address contact information for vendors so that the W-9 completion process can be expedited.
- All documents may not be required in each Applicant’s situation.
- Contract Providers of Alliance Behavioral Healthcare will login and submit applications. Access the web-based application tool.
- Upon successful submission, a system generated email will be sent to the care coordinator or provider to notify them the application has been submitted to a Housing Specialist.
- ILI applications will be reviewed on the first and third Tuesdays by the Housing Specialist and/or a Housing Triage Committee which consists of staff members from Alliance, representatives from the Department of Social Services, and other local housing agencies.
- Within three business days following the review by the Housing Specialist and/or Housing Triage Committee and secondary approval by the Housing Supervisor a system generated email will be sent to the care coordinator or provider regarding approval or denial of the application.
- Within 10 business days from the notification to Provider Contact the check or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) will be issued directly to vendor. Providers will not be allowed to pick up checks for housing or utility assistance.
Requirements of Providers and Participants
Before submitting an application, the referring professional service provider should verify that the Applicants meets the ILI eligibility criteria. Alliance has an obligation to meet specific state and county requirements for the ILI program. We also have an obligation to program participants, landlords and property managers to make every effort to assure a successful and sustainable housing experience. Consequently, professional service providers must adhere to the following requirements:
- Attend Housing Training prior to submitting ILI application. Contact your local Housing Coordinator for times and location
- Provide accurate and truthful information for payment request
- Assist Applicants in filling out all required paperwork and acquiring supplemental verification to ensure eligibility for the program (i.e. eviction notice, lease, pay stubs, bank statements)
- Agree to not engage in any fraudulent or criminal activity including but not limited to forging of checks, false identification, telephone payments, telephone charges, etc.
Failure to comply with these conditions outlined in the Independent Living Initiative Procedures will result in notification to Alliance Compliance Committee, Plan of Correction, and/or immediate termination of all current and future referrals. In addition, any legal costs or fees associated with fraudulent or criminal activity will be the responsibility of the Provider. Any criminal activity will be referred to the Alliance Legal Counsel for possible prosecution.
Consequently, Applicants must adhere to the following requirements:
- To engage in and comply with treatment recommendations and services
- To allow professional service providers to make home visits as they deem necessary
- To comply with the terms of the lease and occupancy agreement
- To report any changes in income or family composition within 10 days if receiving assistance for two or three months
- To allow professional service provider, Alliance, and the Housing Coordinator to contact the landlord and/or utility companies as needed
- To pay back security deposits to Alliance Behavioral Healthcare upon termination of lease. If any portion of the deposit cannot be refunded, written documentation regarding applicable charges reducing the deposit amount must be provided to Alliance (security deposits will not be re-issued within a calendar year; Applicants are ineligible for a new security deposit for at least 12 months if funds are not repaid)
- Continued assistance is contingent upon the Applicants’ monthly progress toward self-sufficiency (employment search, enrollment in educational/job training program, etc.)