Ellie Moves Her New Housing Voucher

When Ellie got awarded a housing voucher in another state, she traveled there to try to find a house.

After two weeks of searching, she couldn’t find a single place that suited her disabilities and did not trigger symptoms. So she went home empty-handed. She was not physically well enough to go back and search more.

Ellie decided to try something completely different:

She put in a request to move her voucher somewhere else entirely. Ellie lived in Arizona. She got her voucher in Colorado. And now she wanted to move to Connecticut.

Ellie developed a good relationship with both new Housing Authorities and worked closely with the workers there, who she felt treated her well and were “amazing”.

Her request was unusual, but it worked! The Housing Authority allowed her to immediately move her voucher to Connecticut, where she happily found housing and now lives.

Tips From Ellie: It’s Possible!

🌸 I hope my successful port story is helpful for others reading this.

🌸This blog, the Facebook group, and everyone’s success stories gave me the hope to not give up. Don’t give up!

🌸My big lesson in all of this is housing rules are flexible. With clear communication and knowing our rights, just about anything is possible. There were so many rules and regulations that I thought were going to end my chances. In the end, all of them were bypassed.

Tips From Ellie: Working With Your Doc

🌸If you are applying for an accommodation, it’s important to be clear with your healthcare practitioners about the details and wording that housing is looking for.

🌸 I asked my psychologist if I could draft and share some key points with her. Then we submitted a final letter that was from her. The final letter was something that we both both consented to and felt great about. She was grateful for that approach because she has such a full schedule.

Tips From Ellie: Apply Elsewhere

🌸 My second lesson: always consider applying for open voucher wait lists out-of-state.

🌸 I was only on the wait list for five months before I got my voucher.

🌸If you are not well enough to move out-of-state when you hit the top of the list, submit a Reasonable Accommodation to port and stay where you are. There’s no guarantee, but it’s worth a try!

Tips From Ellie: Try Small

🌸Smaller areas often have less vouchers to hand out, but sometimes have special funding or circumstances where they open waitlists more often.

🌸Working with a smaller housing authority can also lead to a more personalized voucher experience. I worked with seven different housing workers from Colorado to Connecticut to experience my successful port!

Final Psychologist Letter

Verification of Need for Reasonable Accommodation

I am writing this note in support of a Request for Reasonable Accommodation for my patient, Ellie, to port her Housing Choice Voucher to Connecticut.

Ellie’s disabilities of Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD & Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) cause her to experience a severe decline in health/ allergic reactions when exposed to environmental and chemical toxins; including but not limited to: fresh paint; new carpet; air fresheners; scented cleaners; carpet cleaner; dirty carpet; mold; musty odors; lingering smoke; gas; scented laundry detergent; dryer sheets, perfume, cologne, pesticides and herbicides. When exposed to any of the above, Ellie experiences nausea, dizziness, vomiting, body pain, confusion, fatigue, heart palpitations, brain twitching, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

It can take many days for these symptoms to lessen after exposure to just one of the above toxins. If exposures are repeated, the symptoms do not go away. Ellie can even experience these symptoms if a neighbor’s attached apartment is emitting any of the above toxins. In Ellie’s search for a rental, she encountered many of these triggering toxins and was not able to find a healthy rental, within the HCV payment standards, during her 15-day, in-person CO area search, where her voucher was originally granted. Due to her symptoms, she cannot rent a unit sight unseen.

At the time Ellie’s voucher was awarded, she was not a resident of Colorado. Since returning to Arizona from Colorado, Ellie has made an emergency trip to Connecticut to be with her ill mother and remains there. Due to Ellie’s symptoms; including fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety, she will not be able to travel back to Colorado to continue looking for rentals. Ellie’s roommate has given up their rental in Arizona due to neighborhood violence. It will be most supportive for Ellie’s physical, mental and emotional health to remain in CT; living near her family.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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