Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 12, 2013
M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC, feels that one of the largest challenges facing adults with disabilities in America today is the lack of appropriate, affordable housing for individuals with disabilities. The company, based in Washington, D.C., points to a report published by the National Council on Disability as proof of this assertion; in this report, titled The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century: A Disability Perspective, it was written that “creating and sustaining safe, accessible, affordable and integrated housing continues to involve challenging and complex barriers that arise from the interaction of poverty, inaccessibility, funding rules related to acquiring supportive services, and a disability policy system rooted in the outmoded model of segregating people with disabilities from the community mainstream.”
In response to the housing crisis facing these individuals, M&L Special Needs Planning has published a blog intended to educate families with special needs as to the options available to them, and offers their Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life plan as a proactive way to plan for the housing that their family members with special needs may require in the future.
The company provides insights, helpful advice, and good clarification of the Housing options for individuals with special needs in their latest blog. Some of the key points discussed in this newest release is the best option for getting housing. The company states that remaining in the family home, renting, or purchasing a home are often the best options. To ensure the utmost autonomy, renovations for accessibility may be completed or home care providers may be acquired. Individuals may wish to live in an apartment in the family home or on the property – M&L Special Needs Planning suggests that families look into an ECHO, or Elderly Care Housing Option. In the case that remaining in the home is not feasible, individuals may wish to rent or purchase a property. Both of these options tend to be rather expensive; however, shared housing can offset costs associated for both. For those individuals who wish to rent, the Housing and Urban Development website is a valuable resource; there may be various government programs available to help subsidize housing costs. For those who wish to purchase a house, ownership can be structured in such a way that two or more individuals can buy a home together, i.e. tenants in common, limited equity cooperative. There are a number of different funding programs and incentives that could combine to lower costs of home purchase, i.e. programs to lower payments, and first time home buyer incentives. It is important to keep in mind that home ownership involves costly maintenance, and the buyer must have all fees association with the transaction (down payment, real estate & legal fees) upfront before the house is purchased.
Other housing options include licensed facilities/group homes, adult foster care (as a part of family living) and intentional communities. Licensed facilities/group homes must follow specific regulations and licensing requirements which are directly related to the number of residents in the facility, as well as health and safety regulations. The biggest drawback to this option is the lack of privacy and control, i.e. structure, staff turnover, other residents, etc.; however, these facilities have 24/7 professional staff, and offer security, stability, socialization, and built in companionship.
Adult foster care is another option which provides built in companionship and stability; the owners of the home are responsible for the room, board, and care of the individual(s), as appropriate to the needs of the individual(s), and the home owners may acquire additional supported living assistance or respite care. This type of housing can be acquired more quickly, and there are typically fewer numbers of residents in this setting than in a licensed facility or group home. There are a number of considerations – conflicting personalities can lead to conflict in the home, therefore there must be an opportunity for all individuals involved to meet and express comfort with this living arrangement. As well, all individuals in the home must be educated and trained in relation to providing the individual with the level of care necessary to meet his or her needs. Examples of this type of housing option include domiciliary care or “dom care” providers.
The last type of housing option analyzed by the company is the intentional community, or, “a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values.” Residents may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or an urban neighborhood. They may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings. There are four models – inter-generational communities as intervention, co-op housing, the farmstead, and housing collaborations with universities and colleges.
M&L Special Needs Planning offers a planning service that proactively tackles future housing needs for individuals with disabilities and their families - their Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plan. Families who avail of this service will go plan for legal, health, financial, tax and estate issues, among other things. Planning for future housing needs, i.e. analysis of options available to individuals, how to find housing programs that suit the needs of the individuals, and how to finance the cost of housing, is also an integral part of this process. As well, the company plans to launch an Independent Living Program and Housing Project Database in the late summer/early fall, which will be a database of different programs, services, articles, and information related to housing for individuals with disabilities from across the US.
M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC works to help families acquire information, resources and tools needed to plan for the future of their family members with special needs. Through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to those individuals with special needs, these certified financial planners strive to educate families and help them better plan for their financial future. Those wishing to read more about housing options for individuals with disabilities, can visit the M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC website and are encouraged to contact them for more information.