Finding housing for adults with disabilities can be a challenge. To help you with your housing hunt, we’ve put together this guide to potential options, as well as some tips for choosing the right place for you. We hope these options will help you find an accessible, affordable home where you or a loved one can thrive.
Key considerations for housing
To start, it’s important to understand what type of housing you need. Knowing your requirements for housing can help you narrow your search. Here are some considerations to think about:
- Do I need supportive health services?
- What is my upper financial limit?
- Do I want to live alone or in a group?
- Do I want housing with a strong social element?
Before you check out top housing options for adults with disabilities, consider your ideal living situation so you can end up with the housing you both want and need.
Top housing options
Group homes are specially designed residences for adults with disabilities. Typically, they house between 5-30 residents and are staffed by health aides to provide assistance as needed.
Group homes provide 24/7 supervision and assistance, but also have an enriching social element. While residents have their own bedrooms, they share the rest of the home and have the opportunity to interact with each other. For adults with disabilities, this type of atmosphere can be extremely positive.
Who’s it for: Adults with disabilities or special needs who would like some level of assistance and the rich social atmosphere of living with others.
Benefits: Group homes may be more cost effective than other types of housing, at around $2,000-$3,000/month. They can be beneficial for adults looking for a robust social scene.
Drawbacks: For those who aren’t interested in integrating with others, group homes may not be the best choice.
Assisted living is another excellent option for adults with disabilities. At these residences, adults have access to daily living assistance, such as bathing, dressing, etc. They also include full-range services such as meals and housekeeping.
At the same time, assisted living often offers top amenities, such as fitness centers, social calendars, etc. For adults with disabilities, these facilities are also designed for accessibility and independence. Often these communities are close-knit and give adults with disabilities opportunities to socialize.
Who’s it for: Adults with disabilities or special needs who are interested in receiving daily assistance and full-range services.
Benefits: Assisted living is ideal for older adults who are looking for an all-in-one housing solution, including amenities. While every resident has their own private apartment (with kitchen), there’s typically a sense of community.
Drawbacks: Unfortunately, assisted living can be quite expensive. In 2020, the national average was $4,300/month.
Section 8 housing
Section 8 housing is another option for adults with disabilities who are looking for their own private apartment, but are unable to afford it. The Section 8 program offers vouchers for those with low incomes. Participants typically pay one third of their income in rent and the voucher covers the rest. Those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are likely to qualify for Section 8.
While Section 8 doesn’t include assistance or community, it’s a good option for adults with disabilities who would like to live independently in an affordable apartment.
Who’s it for: Low-income adults, especially those with SSI or SSDI income.
Benefits: Section 8 housing can be helpful for low-income adults with disabilities looking to access independent and affordable housing.
Drawbacks: Section 8 vouchers can take time to get, as waitlists are typically long. You’ll also be limited in your housing choice, as not all apartment buildings accept Section 8 vouchers.
Home care is another option for getting help in your current living arrangement. You can rent an apartment according to your needs and then hire a home aide to assist with daily tasks and any housekeeping needs. This is an alternative for those who need daily help, but don’t have the financial ability to pay for assisted living.
While home care can be expensive, it may be a good option if you don’t need aid all day. This way, you can pay only for the hours you need. Home care costs an average of $24/hour, so if you receive 15 hours of care every week, you would pay around $1,500/month.
Who’s it for: Home care is ideal for adults with disabilities who don’t have 24/7 care needs and would prefer to live in a current home or rent an apartment and then hire a home aide.
Benefits: Home care can give you the flexibility to choose your housing situation and then add on care.
Drawbacks: Home care can be expensive and doesn’t come with all the amenities and benefits of an assisted living option. That’s why it’s ideal for adults who don’t need 24/7 care.
Living with loved ones
Finally, you have the option to live with loved ones, whether children, friends or other relatives. Living with a loved one can be cost-effective and also help you afford others types of care, such as a home aide. Another benefit is that loved ones may know what you need and make you feel at home.
Some families who choose to live with parents or children often find ways to adapt their home for independent living, such as a backyard apartment or a basement with a separate entrance.
Who’s it for: Adults with disabilities who would prefer to live with loved ones, especially if their care needs are too expensive for independent housing.
Benefits: Loved ones will have a better sense of your needs and help you feel at home. You’ll be able to share costs, too.
Drawbacks: Living with loved ones can be difficult if you have complex care needs. You also won’t get access to other benefits such as live-in care, amenities or a community of other adults.
HUD assistance for housing
As you search for housing options for adults with disabilities, you should also look into how to get financial help. While Medicare and Medicaid don’t pay for long-term housing for disabled adults, there are some other options from HUD that may partially or fully pay for your housing, including:
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
This program from HUD is designed to support low-income older adults who are 62 years old and up. HUD sponsors these facilities, which provide not just rental assistance, but also supportive activities.
Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program
Another HUD program, Section 811 is intended for low-income adults with disabilities. It provides rental assistance, plus supportive services. Participants of this program typically pay 30% of their income but have the rest covered.
In addition to these programs, you can qualify for some of these financial assistance programs aimed at older adults.
Finding housing as an adult living with a disability can be difficult. In particular, it can be frustrating when special programs are booked, options are limited and prices just keep increasing. As you work through your housing search process, you can check out some of the options listed above.
Depending on your location, you may be able to find even more housing and resources. Be sure to check out MyCaringPlan’s care search to see what’s available in your area. Ultimately, you or your loved one deserve accessible, affordable housing.