PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Providence Housing Authority has been awarded nearly $400,000 to provide more rental housing opportunities for low-income people with disabilities.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced the funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The voucher program provides rental assistance so people with developmental and physical disabilities who are leaving institutional care or who could become homeless can live independently in the community.

Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, estimates the grant will support rental assistance for about 50 new households. He says people with disabilities or special needs are too often shut out of the rental market.

Reed says he worked to include money in an appropriations bill for these specific vouchers, which hadn't been funded since 2010. He says more than 48,000 vouchers will be offered nationwide.