In order to live stably in the community, many older adults, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness need assistance to obtain accessible, affordable housing. Many also need help connecting to supportive services, such as personal care assistance, transportation, behavioral health services, and similar services. There are a number of organizations and networks working to address these needs. These include:
- Public housing authorities and other housing providers
- Homelessness service networks
- Aging and disability networks
- Health care systems
- Tribal organizations
- Behavioral health systems
Partnerships between these networks to more holistically address housing issues and needs for supportive services could greatly expand the range of housing options, streamline access to the programs that help people secure both housing and services, and ultimately increase opportunities for older adults and people with disabilities to live in the community.
- Explore New (or Recently Modified) Programs
The links below provide information about some new, or recently modified, programs available through each of the networks. By learning about these programs, you can begin to identify opportunities to collaborate with other sectors to help people stay in or return to housing in the community. Attention to a full range of housing types is necessary to address inequities and enable full participation in the community.
- COVID-19 & HUD: website about resources available to help with housing challenges related to the COVID-19 including resources for organizations providing affordable, accessible and fair housing
- Emergency Housing Vouchers: website about this program in which public housing authorities administering 70,000 new vouchers to subsidize rent for people in situations related to homelessness
- Fair Housing Initiatives Program: website about this program addressing fair housing inquiries, complaints, investigations, and education and outreach activities
- Homeowners Assistance Fund: through this program, states, tribes or tribal entities, and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are able to offer assistance to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020
- Homeowners Assistance Fund: Navigating the Program Guidelines and Implementation Challenges: webinar recording about this funding program's guidelines and strategies to address implementation issues
- How CILs Can Initiate Emergency Relocations and Transitions During the COVID-19 Pandemic: webinar recording about emergency relocation to accessible, affordable and fair housing during the pandemic
- Mainstream Housing Vouchers: website about this program in which, housing agencies can subsidize rent for people with disabilities who are younger than 62
- Money Follows the Person: website about this program in which states can provide Medicaid beneficiaries who choose to move from nursing homes to housing in the community with the services they need for independent living
- Programs to Keep Older Adults Connected to Energy and Utility Services: recorded training on federal utility assistance programs, including Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program
- Temporary Increases to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP): website about opportunities for state health officials to access temporarily increased federal funding for home and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries
- The HOME Investment Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP): website about this program funding for participating jurisdictions to reduce homelessness and increase housing stability
Solutions and Core Knowledge for Accessible, Affordable and Fair Housing
Housing is the centerpiece of an individual’s personal life across their lifespan and a cornerstone to living independently. Accessible, affordable housing for people with disabilities, older adults, and people experiencing homelessness is vital to supporting overall wellbeing. Multi-sector partnerships can leverage resources to expand housing options, especially for populations that have disproportionately high rates of housing instability and homelessness.
- Accessible Housing: Core Knowledge and Solutions
Accessible housing is housing that people with disabilities can easily enter and use. Accessible housing has features people may need to live independently, like wider doorways, clear floor space for wheelchairs to move throughout the home, low countertops, assistive technology, and grab bars in bathrooms. Housing can be built or modified for accessibility, which would enhance housing stability, prevent falls, and enable community participation for people with disabilities and older adults.
The links below provide information about accessible housing. Some build core knowledge about this topic, and other have programs and best practices to improve accessibility. You can use this information to identify opportunities to collaborate with other sectors to help people stay in or return to housing in the community.
- Accessibility in Housing: Findings from the 2019 American Housing Survey: findings from questions in the 2019 American Housing Survey to gauge the level of accessibility in the U.S. housing stock
- Assistive Technology (AT): website on the State Grant for AT Program and national AT activities; also relevant:
- National AT Awareness Day series of briefs: Assistive Technology Is a Part of Everyday Life with features on housing, community living, employment, education, and transportation
- State/Territory AT Program directory
- Disability Impacts All of Us: infographic with public health statistics about functional disabilities that would impact the accessibility features needed in a home to support independence
- Funding Sources for Home Modification and Repairs: technical assistance brief for state aging agencies on the roles of these agencies in meeting the needs for home modifications and repairs
- Home Modification Information Clearinghouse: website with research, training, and technical assistance opportunities regarding home modification and falls prevention services that can make a home environment more accessible
- Living at Home in Rural America: Improving Accessibility for Older Adults and People with a Disability: informational bulletin about existing federal resources and programs intended to improve health and housing outcomes in rural America
- National Falls Prevention Resource Center for Professionals: website with articles on falls prevention and tools for professionals to use with clients
Also visit the supportive services page for information about transportation and other topics related to community accessibility.
- Affordable Housing: Core Knowledge and Solutions
The links below provide information about affordable housing. Some items build core knowledge about this topic, and other items have programs and best practices to enhance access to affordable housing options for people with disabilities and older adults. You can use this information to identify opportunities to collaborate with other sectors to help people stay in or return to housing in the community.
- Defining Affordable Housing: article with HUD’s definition of affordable housing
- Housing and Homelessness Services and Partnerships to Address a Growing Issue: report with survey results on area agency on aging programs, services, and partnerships on affordable housing and on shelter and services for homelessness
- Mainstream Vouchers- Lesson Learned from Communities of Practice: brief on overcoming challenges to using Mainstream vouchers and effective partnerships and strategies to support people with disabilities
- Opportunities to Increase Housing Production and Preservation: article on the impact of regulatory barriers on housing affordability, with links to research, HUD tools to support regulatory reform, and state and local efforts to increase housing production
- Profile of Older Americans: annual summary of critical statistics related to the older population in the United States, including housing affordability and quality
- Resource Library for Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) Recipients and Smaller Distressed Communities: library with wide range of resources, reports, webinars and funding opportunities of affordable housing and homelessness, along with other topics
- Unaffordable, Inadequate, and Dangerous: Housing Disparities for People with Disabilities in the U.S.: report with disparities data showing that households with people with disabilities are more likely to have problems with affordability, housing quality, and neighborhood quality
- Worst Case Housing Needs: annual report with national data and analysis of critical housing problems facing very low-income renting families; provides data on housing disparities by race and ethnicity, disability status, and age