About Us: Mission and History
Housing Unlimited provides affordable, independent housing for adults in mental health recovery in Montgomery County. The organization promotes independence and recovery by providing a stable and comfortable home. With the security of knowing that their housing is secure, our tenants can focus on becoming valued and integrated members of the community.
We provide shared housing - three bedroom townhouses and two bedroom condominiums - and rent them at below-market rates to qualified individuals. Rent is computed on a sliding scale based on income and is capped to encourage employment and maintain a sense a security. Tenants are responsible for their own health, finances, interpersonal relationships, and maintaining a clean home.
We encourage our tenants to succeed in their independence by providing concrete incentives such as rent credits for getting involved in the community. We also provide paid intern opportunities so that tenants can gain work experience.
Many of the people that we serve come to Housing Unlimited from homeless shelters, supervised residential programs, or the homes of their aging parents. With more than 200 people on our waiting list, Housing Unlimited must continue acquiring new homes to meet the needs of adults in mental health recovery who are seeking a permanent, affordable, and independent place to live. We can’t grow fast enough to meet the increasing needs of the community.
Housing Unlimited sets high housekeeping standards for tenants and works to support tenants' efforts to maintain their independent living. We also set high standards for ourselves. Staff, Board members and volunteers are all expected to abide by Housing Unlimited's Code of Ethics.
“I used to help the homeless and run a shelter in Jackson, Mississippi, so it was something I never saw myself as becoming. Thanks to Housing Unlimited, I’m not going to be out on the street.”
HUI Tenant, Cheryl Goers
Housing Unlimited was conceived in the 1980s by members of the Alliance on Mental Illness of Montgomery County, MD (AMI), a 700-member non-profit counseling and advocacy group composed of family members of persons with psychiatric disabilities.
The AMI volunteer task force studied affordable housing options and developed interest in the benefits—economic and empowering—of separating housing from mental health services. The task force—an extraordinary group of volunteers (all with family members who were consumers) then incorporated Housing Unlimited in 1991. With a seed grant from AMI and donations from interested individuals, Housing Unlimited operations were launched in late 1994 with the purchase of Housing Unlimited’s first house.