Location of Housing
Housing Unlimited’s homes are scattered throughout Montgomery County, MD. We provide independent shared housing for individuals. We do not provide support services. Support services can be accessed via Cornerstone Montgomery. Applicants for housing are given the opportunity to specify their geographic preference. The more areas to which an applicant is open to moving, the faster he or she is likely to be offered a unit.
The geographic areas where Housing Unlimited homes are located include:
- Silver Spring
- White Oak
Rent, Utilities, Furnishings
In general, tenants in Housing Unlimited homes pay a rent contribution calculated at 38% of their net monthly income. The tenant’s rent contribution, plus a shallow rent subsidy from Montgomery County, covers utilities including gas, electric, heat, water, waste collection, and local telephone.
Housing Unlimited homes are fully furnished. Tenants are welcome to bring personal furnishings for their private bedrooms if they like, but those who do not have furniture will move into a completely furnished bedroom.
Independent Living Requirements
Independent living assumes that an individual is able to manage his or her own health and support needs, handle financial obligations including rent, and live cooperatively with housemates and neighbors.
Tenants are expected to work cooperatively with their housemates to keep their homes clean. Those living in single family houses and townhomes are responsible for mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. Housing Unlimited staff visits all its homes once a week to confirm that housekeeping standards are met.
Before moving in each applicant is screened by the Montgomery County Mental Health CORE Service Agency (CSA). The CSA recommends whether or not an applicant is appropriate for our independent living program. Each tenant then participates in a half-day training session on the rights and responsibilities of being a tenant. At the end of the training, the tenant signs the lease, pays the first month’s rent and security deposit, and receives keys to his or her new home.
Tenant Empowerment Opportunities
After three months of successful tenancy, a tenant is eligible to participate in paid internship opportunities with Housing Unlimited. Internships are periodic work opportunities including occasional administrative tasks in the Housing Unlimited office, landscaping work at the single family homes and assistance on the truck moving furniture from the homes of donors into Housing Unlimited houses. Tenants may also be offered paid internship opportunities to represent Housing Unlimited either by speaking at public events or showing their homes to Housing Unlimited stakeholders.
Additionally, Housing Unlimited’s Tenants Council, an autonomous tenants association, promotes community building among our tenants. The Council provides peer support, networking opportunities, and social programming. Tenants Council officers receive leadership and organizational skills training from professional coaches.