The Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP) is a subsidized program sponsored by the Maryland Department of Aging which assists a participant to remain living independently for as long as possible with the assistance of a few services.   This program is only offered at our Willow Valley Apartments location.  Willow Valley and the Congregate Housing Services Program is not and does not provide the levels of service as that of a nursing home, rehabilitation center or assisted living facility.  It is considered a step below those levels of service.

In order to qualify for the program, the applicant must:

      • qualify for housing at Willow Valley under the Public Housing Program requirements;
      • be 62 years of age or older;
      • be capable of dressing and personal grooming;
      • be capable of toileting and bathing independently;
      • be capable of getting themselves to and from the dining room twice daily at the specified meal times;
      • participate in group activities of interest; and
      • able to function on their own with the assistance of the services provided.

Participants in the program are free to come and go from the building as they desire on their own or with family with no form of sign out.  There is staff on site 24 hours a day and each apartment contains an emergency call alert which will summon a staff person in case of an emergency.  The participant must have a local contact person to assist the participant, when needed, with personal health, financial and other social needs.

CHSP Services Include


Annually, a five-week menu cycle is approved by a licensed nutritionist.  Breakfast and dinner are prepared from scratch on site by an experienced food service provider.  Meals are served to the participants in the dining room which promotes socialization.  Participants are responsible for providing their own lunch and snacks.  Special dietary meals are not offered on a routine basis.

Housekeeping Services

The staff provides light housekeeping once a week which includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping the tile floors and cleaning the bathroom.  All cleaning supplies needed are supplied by the program.

Laundry Services

Participants are encouraged to perform their own laundry activities to assist in remaining active.  However, if the resident is unable or not comfortable in performing such activity then the staff will wash, dry, fold and return the laundry to the apartment once a week.  The participant is responsible for supplying quarters for the washer and dryers and the laundry detergent, fabric softener, etc.

Personal Services

Items the staff may assist participants with are:  getting in and out of the bathtub, washing hair in our on-site hair salon, arranging medical appointments, help with understanding bills, straightening and organizing closets and other items approved by management.

Medication Management

Medication Management is a special service unique to the State program.  It is optional for the participants at Willow Valley; however, a majority of our residents do take advantage of the service. The program provides assurance that the correct medication dosages are administered, they are given at the prescribed times and it prevents common over and under dosing of medications often seen in the elderly.

Participants in this program have their prescriptions transferred to the Pharmacare Institute who is our pharmacy of record.  On a bi-weekly basis, Pharmacare loads each participants medication into a specifically designed module which is then loaded in our locked medication cart similar to that of a medical institution.  The cart travels to each participants apartment and medications are delivered one resident at a time.  Medications are dispensed up to four times daily according to the physician’s orders.  Changes in medications can be implemented usually within 24 hours.

All of our staff are trained and licensed by the Maryland Board of Nursing as Medication Technicians and undergo annual training and periodic license renewal.  The cost for this service is $35 a month in addition to the CHSP and housing program fees.

Numerous special activities are provided to the participants of the program including:

Holiday events (Christmas Party, Trick or Treat, Valentines, etc.)

Special meals (Christmas, New Years, Easter, 4th of July, etc.)

Bingo and card games weekly

Board Games and a Library on site

Program Cost

The Congregate Housing Services Program, like the Public Housing Program, is designed to assist those elderly individuals with low incomes.  The cost to participate in the CHSP is based upon regulations established by the Maryland Department of Aging.

The applicant’s monthly payment (fee) is calculated as follows:

Gross monthly Income – Allowable Medical Deductions = Adjusted Monthly Income

Adjusted Monthly Income – Allowable Deductions = Applicant Monthly Payment

(Allowable Deductions include:  10% of Adjusted Gross Income, Personal Allowance, Food Allowance (for lunch which the program does not provide), Monthly Rent, and Utility Allowance)

The gross amount of the applicant’s income and the value of their assets is then compared to the Maryland CHSP limits shown below.

Limit Individual Couple Explanation
Gross Monthly Income $4,112 $4,700 If the gross income exceeds the amounts shown, the individual (or couple) will be responsible for the full amount of the CHSP fee.
Gross Annual Income $49,350 $56,400
Annual Asset Test $27,375 $35,587 If the value of the applicant(s) savings, checking, certificate of deposits, etc. is greater than this limit then the applicant will be full fee.  The value of the home is disregarded in the first year but becomes an asset starting the second year if it is still owned by the applicant.


As a non-profit program, the calculated cost to provide the described basic services to a single or couple is established annually and is referred to as the “Full Fee.”   The Full Fee is charged for those individuals who qualify under the income limits for public housing but exceed the income and asset limits for the CHSP as shown above.

The Full Fee for the period of July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 is

Single $1,390 per month                              Couple $2,367 per month

Most applicants do not exceed the above limits and cannot afford the Full Fee costs of the program.  Those applicants are required to pay the calculated Applicant Monthly Payment.  The Maryland Department on Aging provides a subsidy on the applicant’s behalf to allow participation in the program at an affordable amount.  The subsidy that is provided, funds the difference between the calculated applicant monthly payment and the Full Fee to operate.  Those participants that receive this subsidy must attend both meals and cannot refuse the services provided.

Application Process

The first step in the application process is the completion and submission of application documents for both the Housing Program and Congregate Housing Services Program.  Once the applications are received a preliminary review and qualification is conducted.  Once that is complete, the applicant is contacted with the result and if preliminarily qualified, the anticipated rent and CHSP fee will be provided to the participant for consideration.


After the participant agrees on the preliminary rent and CHSP fees, arrange a visit to our office to meet the manager of the CHSP and the Housing Authority to determine the applicant’s current living conditions, the ability to participate within the program and to assure compliance with admission regulations.

A satisfactory evaluation of the visit is followed by the Allegany County Health Department performing the State required Adult Evaluation Report.  A nurse from the health department will meet with the resident to assure that the participant does not need medical, mental or social services beyond what we are permitted to provide.

If approved by the health department, then the final step is move-in!

Not sure if this is for you or your loved one?  Then call us at 301-759-2880 for an appointment to receive a personal tour of our apartments, facility, meet our staff and see what we offer.

Program Documents

Application for CHSP Participation

Application for CHSP Subsidy

Link to Housing Application Documents