Housing Resources - BRAP (Bridging Rental Assistance Program)

Methods of Operation

DHHS has established seven Community Service Networks (CSN) within the state, and allocates BRAP resources based on balancing existing funding with documented needs.  Community Based Mental Health centers with at least 10 years of state and federal tenant based subsidy administrative experience, are responsible for the administration of the BRAP program.  DHHS contracts with one Central Administering Agency (CAA) responsible for the oversight of the BRAP program.  Shalom House, Inc. is the current CAA.

BRAP and Shelter Plus Care LAA contact list

County Contact Name Address Phone #
Penobscot, Washington, Hancock, Piscataquis Counties Sandra Kimball Community Health and Counseling
42 Cedar St., PO Box 425
Bangor, ME 04402
207-947-0366 ext 520
Aroostook County James McClay AMHC Facilities, Inc.
PO Box 1018
Caribou, Maine 04736
Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln Counties & Brunswick, Harpswell, Freeport Rita De Fio Sweetser MH
329 Bath Road #1
Brunswick, Maine 04011
Androscoggin, Franklin & Oxford Counties Karen Bate-Pelletier Common Ties
140 Canal Street PO Box 1319
Lewiston, ME 04240
207-795-6710 ext 101
Kennebec & Somerset Counties Barbara Worthley Kennebec Behavioral Health
67 Eustis Parkway
Waterville, Maine 04901
207-873-2136 ext 1256
Cumberland & York Counties Wendi Saracino Shalom House, Inc.,
106 Gilman Street
Portland, Maine 04102
Central Administering Agent Virginia Dill Shalom House
106 Gilman Street
Portland, Maine 04102

* Bangor

(*Not a DHHS Local Administrative Agent. The City of Bangor also administers Shelter Plus Care)

Awa Conteh City of Bangor Dept. of Health & Welfare
103 Texas Ave.
Bangor, Maine 04401

Updated 03/24/2011

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Duties of CAA and LAA's

Revised 10/2006, 03/01/2010, 10/01/2011

 The Central Administering Agency

  1. Coordinate with DHHS to develop forms and procedures for use in the disbursement and accounting of funds to the LAA and to the DHHS.
  2. Provide training to LAA's involved in the administration of rental assistance.
  3. Assure that LAA's receive notification of HQS and other relevant training. 
  4. Provide consultation and assistance to LAA's and DHHS to maintain compliance with local, state, and federal housing related policies, rules, regulations, and statutes.
  5. Disburse rental subsidy funds to LAA's on a monthly basis.
  6. Process waivers when requested on a monthly basis, as approved by the DHHS.
  7. Report and reconcile to each LAA and the DHHS on a monthly basis on all activity.
  8. Receive and consolidate information from each of the regional LAA's on a monthly basis.
  9. Report and reconcile to the DHHS monthly on activities for each LAA and on a consolidated basis.
  10. Maintain files of activities related to BRAP.
  11. Comply with additional priorities and requests from the DHHS.

The LAA's are encouraged to develop and work with a network of providers, service professionals, DHHS, and consumers in the maintenance and ongoing development of a Community Service Networks.  Although the LAA is ultimately the responsible party for ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and guidelines regarding the administration of units under BRAP, the tasks of a Community Service Networks may include:

  1. providing outreach to mental health consumers to alert them to the availability of services;
  2. assessing consumer needs at the local level;
  3. targeting locally appropriate priorities;
  4. assisting recipients in locating, securing, and establishing themselves in safe and decent housing;
  5. assisting in the arrangement and the provision of community support services;
  6. establishing and maintaining relations with local landlords, public housing authorities, and property managers;
  7. providing other services aimed at maintaining adults with serious mental illness in mainstream housing in the community;
  8. proposing modifications to the above procedures to increase access to housing options with approval of DHHS.

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The Local Administering Agency:

  1. LAA receives a BRAP application from the Client or Caseworker, verifies income and eligibility requirements, and approves or denies the application.  In circumstances where an applicant has no income, General Assistance must be utilized until benefits from the Social Security Administration or other income is obtained, whichever is sooner.
    1.  If approved, LAA sends a letter to the applicant, informing the applicant that he/she has 30 days in which to initiate subsidy
    2. If denied, LAA sends a letter to the applicant, stating the reason for denial and informing the applicant of DHHS Housing Subsidy Appeals Procedure.
    3. If an applicant does not meet eligibility or priority criteria, LAA may request a waiver .
  2. If applicable, LAA receives written extension request from service provider or client and may grant up to three 30 day extensions.  No applicant may be given more than 120 days to find suitable housing.  Applicants who have not initiated subsidy within 120 days of program acceptance must reapply. 
  3. LAA completes initial Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections on units located by recipients , "Housing Quality Standards"), informs the landlord and/or property manager of any deficiencies and/or needed repairs, and establishes a timeline for completion of repairs and/or deficiencies.  LAA should have at least one HQS Certified inspector on staff.
    1. All households must receive a lead paint pamphlet, Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home published jointly by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and HUD.
    2. All households are encouraged to sign a lead paint disclosure form with their respective landlord, not the LAA.
  4. LAA negotiates rent with landlord and/or property manager, if applicable.  The rent is based on the FMR(Fair Market Rent) which is updated annually each October-refer to your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) or Section 8 Administering Agency to see what the local standard is.
  5. LAA conducts initial certification with recipient.
    1.   Rental Calculation Form completed and;
    2. Release of Information/Additional Forms signed and;
    3. Tenant Responsibility Form signed and attachments distributed and;
    4. Move-In Forms and;
    5. Section 8 wait list verification and;
    6. Housing Quality Standard form completed and signed; and
    7. Income Verification forms obtained
  6. LAA executes Housing Assistance Payments Contract with the landlord/property manager.
  7. It is recommended that all BRAP recipients enter into a Lease or Rental Agreement with their landlord.
  8. LAA prepares the Monthly Request Form to request funds from the Central Administering Agency (CAA).
  9. LAA disburses monthly HAP to landlords/property managers in accordance with HAP Contracts.
  10. LAA completes interim certifications with recipients, as necessary.
  11. LAA completes annual re-certification:
    1. Rental Calculation Form completed and;
    2. Release of Information/Additional Forms signed and;
    3. Tenant Responsibility Form signed and;
    4. Section 8 wait list verification and;
    5. Housing Quality Standard form completed and signed; and
    6. Income Verification forms obtained
  12. LAA executes special request agreements including rent-up and emergency assistance.
  13. LAA receives payments (i.e., loan, security, damage) from recipients and issues receipts.
  14. LAA reports to the CAA on the payment activities of recipients on a monthly basis.
  15. LAA requests waiver renewals, if applicable.
  16. LAA processes move-out inspections, as applicable.
  17. LAA processes Transfers.
  18. LAA processes Termination of Subsidy Forms, as applicable, to include a copy of the DHHS Subsidy Appeals Procedure. 
  19. Each Local Administrative Agent and/or Sponsor shall have on staff a person who holds a certificate as a Housing Quality Standards Inspector.  In addition, each Local Administrative Agent and/or Sponsor shall have on staff a person who holds a certificate from a nationally recognized training organization in one or more of the following:  Asset Management, Assisted Housing Real Estate Management, Property Management, HUD Property/Asset Management, or other HUD approved relevant, certified trainings.
  20. LAA establishes and maintains relations with local landlords, property managers, General Assistance Offices, and Public Housing Authorities.
  21. LAA provides a written response and provide a written copy of the DHHS Housing Appeals Procedure to any past, present, or pending applicant or tenant for any service requested in writing, that it may turn down, reject, refuse, or deny in the administration of BRAP.
  22. LAA maintains BRAP files on all recipients.

Revised 10/2006, 03/01/2010, 10/01/2011, 07/01/2013

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BRAP Program Manual

Does not include all updates contained on BRAP form page