Leadership and Community Support
Finding Available, Affordable and Accessible Housing in Connecticut
'Affordable, accessible, and available housing' means that (1) people with various developmental disabilities can pay monthly housing costs without unreasonably impacting the rest of their budgets, (2) not only are physical plants of housing units, at minimum, visitable but that other needs (such as transportation accessibility, noise level, live-in assistance, etc.) can be met, and (3) units that are affordable and accessible as defined by a range of people with disabilities are available when they need them. While there is much information available from federal and state housing websites, real estate professionals, and human services providers, much of it may seem (and occasionally is) contradictory. There is frequently a lack of alignment between person-centered plans and what is actually available on the housing market. There have also been past 'mistakes' (e.g., units in congregate senior housing set aside for individuals with disabilities for the purposes of 'economy of scale' which have neither furthered positive images of people with disabilities nor facilitated natural connections with neighbors and others who use common resources (e.g., exercise room, pool, gazebo). Yet these may be the only options available when the individual needs to relocate.
University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service received funding from the Council on Developmental Disabilities to develop a 'one-stop shopping' resource for people with disabilities and their families/friends/significant others seeking available, affordable, and accessible housing. The main outcome of this project is the H.O.M.E. Resource Guide and Training Manual that is available for download in loose-leaf format. Appendices and other easily update-able materials are also found on this website. The training modules contain a 'common core' of information for individuals with disabilities and their families, those who control the housing market, and those who assist people with disabilities in identifying their housing needs and locating suitable units. The curriculum also contains 'audience-specific information'. The ultimate goal of this project is to assure that every individual with developmental disabilities in CT 'regardless of the nature of the disability' has a place to live that s/he can call truly home.