What is A-HOME?
A-HOME is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that acquires, develops, rehabilitates and manages affordable rental housing in northern Westchester for low-income older adults, individuals with disabilities, and single parent families.
Where is it?
A-HOME properties are located throughout northern Westchester communities, in Bedford Hills, Chappaqua, Croton Falls, Katonah, Mt. Kisco, Pound Ridge, Thornwood and Vista (South Salem).
Are the homes located in neighborhoods?
Homes are located in residential neighborhoods. In general, A-HOME purchases and rehabilitates older properties in disrepair. In 2004 A-HOME completed its first new construction, apartments for single parent families in Bedford Hills.
What kind of services do you provide?
Independent living is supported by off-site housing case managers. A-HOME’s Coalition of 25 religious and service organizations, corporate volunteers, and a wide variety of individuals and groups in the community provide a vast range of services from driving residents to doctor appointments, to maintaining gardens, to baking and giving computer lessons.
What is the difference between shared supportive housing and a group home?
Residents of group homes require a much higher level of care with onsite round-the-clock staff and management. Keeping with our goal of independence there are no staff offices or personnel stationed in the houses.
What is the role of a Case Manager?
Case Manager responsibilities include navigating the myriad of paperwork to ensure that the seniors receive the benefits to which they are entitled, as well as contacting medical staff and arranging appointments as necessary – often providing transportation as well. They support single parent families, assisting them in their day to day struggles and provide access to budget and financial counseling. The shared living environment offers its own challenges and the case managers meet with residents regularly to offer support and guidance.
Case Managers are involved in every step of the admission process and often re-direct applicants to agencies that may be more appropriate to their needs.
Do you accept Section 8?
Yes. Section 8, the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that helps individuals and families with incomes at 50% or less of the area’s median income afford modest rent. Most of A-HOME’s residents fall significantly below the 50% guideline.
How is a resident’s income computed?
We follow the federal Section 8 program guidelines, looking at income from all sources including government stipends (Social Security, disability), income from employment (before payroll deductions), interest/dividends, pensions, annuities, alimony/child support payments. If a resident has any assets, a percentage is computed as income as well.
How is a resident’s rent amount determined?
Residents pay an affordable portion of their monthly income.
Who sets the overall rent amount?
Rent guidelines come from HUD, adjusted every year taking into account the locality, cost of living and size of unit. These rent guidelines are referred to as Fair Market Rents or FMR’s.
Where does A-HOME get its funding/income?
A-HOME receives funding from the federal, state and county governments (Section 8, Department of Community Mental Health, Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, Division of Housing and Community Development), rent from the residents, grants from corporations and non-profit funding sources, and contributions from private individuals, community organizations, corporations and fundraising activities. A-HOME has a modest income from its investment portfolio, initially started with a very generous bequest from Helen Hamilton.
When a new property is purchased, how does A-HOME pay for it?
A-HOME has a variety of sources/programs available for purchase and rehabilitation of a new property and usually uses a combination of sources to fund each project. Grants may be available after a competitive application process from federal, state, county and foundation or corporate sources. The Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program is available through a competitive process allocated by New York State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Sometimes A-HOME funds are used for pre-development or to temporarily bridge financing. Usually A-HOME has a conventional mortgage on a property.
Is A-HOME’s financial information available for me to see?
Copies of our 990 tax returns (IRS tax form that all tax exempt charitable organizations are required to file), audit and annual reports are available at the A-HOME office on request, through the Attorney General’s Office, Charities Bureau, and online at www.Guidestar.com (look under Apropos Housing Opportunities and Management Enterprises, Inc.). The Annual Report is available on this website as a download.
Is A-HOME a tax-exempt organization? What does this mean?
Yes, A-HOME is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization recognized by the IRS. Among other things, this entitles those who give A-HOME contributions to a tax deduction.
Since A-HOME is tax-exempt, how can towns afford to have A-HOME buy a property in their locality, effectively taking that property off the tax roles? What does this mean?
In some cases, A-HOME has worked with the town to create a PILOT agreement (payment in lieu of taxes), wherein A-HOME pays part of the tax on that property, usually excluding the school taxes. Some towns keep the properties totally exempt.