There are several types of housing options available. A disabled adult can live on their own, if able, in houses or apartments or if they are unable to care for themselves with limited help, they can live in residential facilities, such as adult foster care, group homes, farms and institutions.
Because of the epidemic numbers of ASD children, the states are completely unprepared for the flux of children who will come of age and require housing. Because of this reality, parents are keeping the children at home longer and may need to create their own housing situation, where one does not currently exist.
Residential group housing is where more than one person with a disability lives with others who are also disabled. There are also paid caretakers to help manage the household and help the residents. These can be small facilities of just a few people, or large facilities with many adults and staff.
Adult Foster Care
Adult Foster Care housing is when an adult with a developmental disability lives with a family who “fosters” them and that family is paid to care for him/her. Or when a parent relinquishes parental rights (other parent retains) and the state pays the non-custodial parent to be a “foster parent.” These programs are paid for by the state and/or Medicaid.
Group Housing Resources
Your best bet for finding this type of facility is to ask your child’s Medicaid/SSI caseworker who in your area accepts the funding that your child receives. Then you can tour those facilities and make a choice. Another option is to do a Google Search for ‘Autism group home’ or something similar. Know that most homes have a waiting list, sometimes years, or decades long.
Autism “Farms” have become a common model because they offer a built-in activity for residents (farming and animal care) and can be self-sustaining, therefore costing less to run. Below are some examples:
Larger Group Home Links
Catholic Charities offers Supported Living and Adult Foster Care
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD provides Section 8 rental vouchers and certificates to Public housing authorities (PHAs) that have approved plans to designate certain housing as elderly-only, disabled-only, or mixed elderly and disabled households to enable persons with disabilities to rent affordable housing.
Fannie Mae offers mortgage loans through approved lenders to help disabled people and families with disabled family members who are low to moderate-income to purchase their own homes. This mortgage product is known as Community HomeChoice. Among other things, it provides extra flexibility for determining borrower income and qualifying ratios, allows a non-occupying co-borrower and provides that a legally appointed guardian or representative payee can be used to establish traditional or non-traditional credit.
Centers for Independent Living
State by State listing of Centers for Independent Living
ABILITY House Program
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates, each ABILITY House is an accessible home built for a family where one or more members have health conditions or disabilities. The project also reaches out to volunteers, including veterans and students with disabilities, to help build the homes.
Accessible Housing Information
Accessible housing information and news for people with disabilities, housing officials, builders and designers.
Accessible Space, Incorporated
Locate accessible, affordable housing and assisted/supportive living and rehabilitation services for persons with physical disabilities, brain injuries, and seniors.
Applying for Housing Assistance
If you need public housing assistance or would like specific information about public housing programs such as housing choice vouchers, please contact your local Public Housing Agency. To find contact information for Public Housing Agencies in your city and state, select your state from the map on the Web page.
For more resources, please see our Autism on Public Assistance article.
Preparing For Adulthood Related Links:
Please note: the information in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice applicable to specific factual situations.