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ERIC Number: EJ880851
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Families Are the Key to Innovative Housing Solutions
Reinke, Thomas
Exceptional Parent, v40 n3 p20-22 Mar 2010
Families and individuals with developmental disabilities are leading the way in establishing innovative housing options. They are creating homes with supportive services more tailored to specific individual needs. They are developing homes with physical environments that feel more like home, or are more therapeutic. And they are taking steps toward true community integration. There are tremendous gaps in housing options for people with developmental disabilities, especially those whose only income is SSI. First, there's a lack of affordable rental homes and apartments. Second, the demand for low income housing through HUD programs such as Section 8 and 811 programs far outstrips the demand, and the priorities in those programs are justifiably toward the homeless. Most importantly though, the Medicaid program is totally inadequate in the area of housing. For example, Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers do not pay for rent and living expenses; they only provide supportive services to help people living in community settings. And they often restrict housing options to group homes of four or fewer people. Around the country there are examples where families and individuals have stepped up in the right way, by taking greater responsibility, to establish better, long term, more appealing "homes," not "housing." One of these examples is Benjamin House, a home founded by Ann Parke Hughes in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. An equally innovative, but entirely different housing innovation is Bittersweet Farms in Whitehouse, Ohio. This is a working farmstead that provides a home and vocational opportunities for 20 people with autism. Innovative housing projects such these two share a number of unique characteristics that differentiate them from housing programs operated by provider organizations. One of those differences is in community integration. In traditional provider agencies the focus is to integrate the residents into the community, through outings and trips into the community. While community outings are a part of innovative programs, leading programs pursue integration in other ways. One idea is to do it 180 degrees differently and integrate the community into the home.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Ohio