Addressing Challenges to Transitional Housing in Maine

March 25, 2020

The Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) assists clients with Serious Mental Illness, including those who also have a Substance Use Disorder, with obtaining transitional housing. BRAP provides a rental subsidy and assists clients with finding independent housing in communities throughout Maine. A program of the DHHS Office of Behavioral Health, BRAP is intended to serve as a bridge between homelessness and more permanent housing options, such as Section 8.

Historically, BRAP required clients to contribute 51% of their income towards their monthly rent. However, this income burden has made it increasingly difficult for individuals to obtain and maintain stable, affordable housing. Recognizing these challenges, which have come into even greater focus in the face of COVID-19, BRAP will transition to a 40% income contribution requirement beginning May 1, 2020. This will provide financial relief to clients, giving them greater stability in the community in which they live.

The transition is expected to be completed by July 1, 2020 for all new and existing BRAP participants.