The lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing is the number one barrier to community integration for older adults and people with disabilities. Thousands of New Yorkers live in institutions or other segregated settings due to scarce housing options. New Yorkers with disabilities living on extremely low incomes cannot afford this type of housing without an ongoing rental subsidy or deeply subsidized affordable housing. People with disabilities and older New Yorkers need more housing options to avoid unnecessary institutionalization.

Statistics show living in an integrated setting can improve communities and quality of life, provide stability, motivate people to seek support services, and decrease involvement with the criminal justice system.

Affordable, accessible, integrated housing

  • is priced affordably for people with disabilities and low-incomes
  • is designed in a way that allows people with disabilities to get in the door and live independently
  • supports a person’s interests and rights to participate and engage in a community they choose

The Challenge

Affordable Housing

  • Poverty: People with disabilities often live on extremely low, fixed incomes, making it difficult to afford most housing considered "affordable".
  • Discrimination: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports housing discrimination based on disability is the most commonly received complaint.
  • Complex System: Affordable housing developers face a complicated system with multiple financing layers and varying requirements.
  • Limited Access: The waiting lists for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other rental subsidies are often closed or run too long to obtain a timely voucher.

Accessible Housing

  • Lack of Development: An increase in the development of housing accessible to people with mobility and sensory disabilities is needed.
  • Limited Outreach: Accessible units must be reserved for and affirmatively marketed to people with disabilities who require the accessibility features.
  • Modifications Unavailable: Many people with disabilities need some form of modification to make their home accessible, such as bathroom grab bars or ramps. Current funding for home modification programs that are accessible to both landlords and homeowners need continued support. Landlords are often hesitant to fulfill such requests and unaware of the resources to help them do so.
  • Aging Housing: Many older housing designed prior to accessibility standards may pose structural barriers and be challenging for older New Yorkers and persons with mobility limitations to live in.

Integrated Housing

  • Ensuring Informed Choice: All individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity to make informed choices, with full and accurate information about their options, including what services and financial supports are available in integrated settings.
  • Enforceable Housing Rights: All individuals should have access to housing integrated in the community, with control of a lease or ownership. They should be assured full independence, including deciding where to live, with whom to live, when and what to eat, who visits and when, etc.
  • Housing Not Conditioned on Services: Individuals with disabilities should have their choice of services and service providers, regardless of where they live.