What we’ve learned so far about finding an apartment for a young adult with disabilities

Every state has a housing development authority. In Michigan, it’s the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Start with MSHDA here: webapp.mshda.cgi-bps.com/Default.aspx For help finding an apartment, start here: michiganhousinglocator.com/Portals/mshda/Default.aspx (but not sure this listing service show correct information about Spectran paratransit in Lansing.)

Word of mouth–It could take as long as 3 years to get to the top of the waiting list. When/if you do get to the top, you have to take what is offered anywhere in the county or else go to the bottom and wait again.

Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) are the most desirable subsidy because, as the name implies, you can choose to live anywhere (in theory). The government reimburses the landlord for what you cannot pay. You can find out more at MSHDA.

Lansing Housing Commission (lanshc.org; 517-487-6550) is another portal to some of the same opportunities. Do you own property? Would you like help to turn it into a low-rent opportunity? Lansing Housing Commission, or any local housing commission, is probably your best bet to speak to a human being rather that only view a website.

Affordable Housing Online has quite a bit of information about different kinds of subsidized housing, but I wondered if some spam I got was because of them. Two unsubscribes and the spam was over, so I think it’s worth spending time there and maybe signing up for their info. You can sign up for email alerts for the state you live in. These folks also have some “guides” that tell more about housing options, if you scroll to the bottom of the screen. (affordablehousingonline.com) You’ll be shocked by some info, such as “This county’s waiting list was last opened in March 2014, and it’s not known when the waiting list will be open again.” It’s clear there’s a housing shortage for people with disabilities who need reduced rent.

Intentional communities are a throwback to the 60s commune lifestyle, but designed so that families and friends can encircle and support individuals who need extra help to live independently. Check out these in Michigan: Lansing Intentional Communities (LINCS; http://linc2linc.org ), Intentional Communities of Washtenaw (intentcom.org), Saline Maple Oaks (www.salinemapleoaks.com)

A good basic question when exploring housing is this: How do you feel about having a roommate? This is a crucial piece of information when searching for housing.

Good luck and post your tips. Forward this to others who might want to get some help on the journey. You can email Lydia at lschuck51@edentransition.org.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s