|The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the housing insecurity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Many in this community who have been historically denied access to safe, stable, and affordable housing were then faced with a new challenge: comply with the “Safer at Home” public health mandate while living in inadequate, unhealthy, or overcrowded housing conditions. Some even found themselves homeless during this unprecedented crisis. |
Still, it’s a growing problem that’s being largely ignored in policy discussions statewide around housing. And while California has a robust service system for people with I/DD, too often affordable housing access is left out of the conversation.
That’s why the Lanterman Housing Alliance (LHA) is rallying our stakeholders to ensure that people with I/DD can access housing systems more effectively. There are more than 350,000 individuals with I/DD living in California—and many of them are direly in need of housing options due to aging parents, wanting to live more independently, or the closure of licensed group homes—resulting in an extreme statewide housing shortage. Here’s what we can do together to increase access to affordable and appropriate housing for the I/DD community:
Call for policies and funding to help people with I/DD find housing. Let your elected officials know that increasing housing access for this community is an issue we all need to get behind.
Take action by sharing our post via email and on social media. Help increase awareness of this issue and educate friends, family, and allies.
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There are a lot of ways we can support people with I/DD with housing access, including helping people with I/DD find affordable housing, pay rent and security deposits, move into a property, set up utilities, communicate with landlords, and advocate for their housing needs. All these services are necessary to secure housing. These services must be provided—fully funded—and maintained within existing service systems. Most importantly, new pilot projects of rent subsidy programs should be developed or expanded to ensure people with I/DD are quickly able to access the increasingly competitive rental units available in their communities.
Thank you for taking action on this important issue, and for letting elected officials, friends, families, and allies know that access to housing makes all the difference for people with I/DD.