Independent Living Program and Housing Project Database: Six Month Anniversary

Thursday, July3rd, 2013

This week at M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC we are celebrating a milestone! Six months ago, M&L staff officially launched our very own Independent Living Program and Housing Project Database. We are proud to say that the database has been incredibly successful so far, and we have received an overwhelming amount of support and positive feedback from subscribers. Please join us today as we celebrate our anniversary, and share with you a little bit about our housing database and the special needs housing crisis that prompted its creation.

What is the Special Needs Housing Crisis?

As M&L has expanded into community development and offering independent living services for individuals with special needs, we have often discussed and written about the special needs housing crisis in the United States.  As anyone who works in the housing industry, or has a child/loved one with special needs is aware, housing and programs for individuals with special needs are scarce. If you are new to M&L, or new to the special needs housing search, we feel that this excerpt we published in a previous blog about special needs housing summarizes the situation (and M&L’s involvement in special needs communities) the best: Our interest in special needs communities began when M&L founder and owner, Maedi Tanham Carney CFP®, CWIC began the housing journey with her daughter Ellie. As Maedi began to research independent living and housing programs for Ellie, she discovered that there simply weren’t enough housing opportunities to go around. As we, the staff of M&L, began to dig deeper into housing for individuals with special needs, we became aware of the full extent of the special needs housing crisis. More importantly, we became aware of the roadblocks that parents faced when trying to find appropriate housing for their family member with special needs. These roadblocks included a lack of physical housing space for individuals with special needs (partly due to government regulations and zoning requirements), a lack of information about the programs and space that currently exist, and often incorrect or incomplete information being given to parents who were looking to help their family member with special needs find a home and build an adult life.”

I don’t think anyone will be surprised to know that even through special needs housing organizations and development projects have taken huge strides over the last few years, there is still a significant crisis. As more and more individuals with disabilities age into adulthood, already strained government resources will become even more stressed,  and more and more individuals with disabilities will find themselves with nowhere to live, and no meaningful work or day programs to engage in after they leave the school system.

Consider this: more than 500,000 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will age into adulthood in the next decade; in addition to that, the CDC is now claiming that 1 in 68 children in the US will be diagnosed with ASD. Those are incredible statistics, and they prompt a lot of questions, i.e. where will these individuals live? Will they have meaningful lives? Will they be happy? Are there currently enough programs to support these individuals? How will parents pay for the living costs of their children with disabilities after they have left the family home? It is the lack of answers for these questions that underlie the special needs housing crisis.

What is the Independent Living Program and Housing Project Database?

Quite simply, the Independent Living Program and Housing Project Database is an online, one stop resource for independent living and housing programs for individuals with disabilities from across the United States. The database contains more than 800 entries of independent living programs and housing options, special needs organizations, and advocates for individuals with disabilities from all across the United States – this information includes program descriptions, contact information, eligibility requirements, and funding options.

As well as details on the independent living programs, and services providers, advocates and special needs organizations, the database will also include other valuable information that we think is relevant and will be helpful to you as your search for housing options. This information includes things such as current housing news/articles, so you can stay up-to-date on the housing issues for individuals with disabilities and housing developments from across the US. We have added studies, reports, and journal articles to keep you abreast of any medical research or developments that may affect the way you search for housing, or the housing options that you are considering for your family member. Our resource section will contain links to resources that can affect your family and family member with special needs. In short – this database will include any information that we come across or research (and verify) that we feel will benefit or help you as you attempt to find affordable and accessible housing for your family member with special needs.

Important Database Features Here at M&L, we know that the housing search can be incredibly stressful, and can lead to information overload. With this in mind, we incorporated a number of incredibly useful features in the database: – All information is categorized by state, elimination unnecessary time looking at programs which aren’t relevant to your search.

– M&L Staff has incorporated a “notification” feature into the database; essentially, this notification feature means that subscribers are notified every time a new entry is added to the database, or a new article/resource becomes available. In addition to this, if any changes are made to existing entries, users are also notified: this means that you have the peace of mind of knowing that all the information you are basing your decisions on is accurate, current and reliable.

-Last but not least, Carney has also uploaded a number of incredible useful special needs planning video series to the database. These videos cover topics such as The Special Needs Planning Process, the government benefits Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI), life insurance, and trusts, among many others. These videos can help you organize your special needs planning task list, and answer many common questions that our clients, family and friends often ask us about special needs financial and life planning.

Our database is available to users via one of our four subscription plans: The database is available to users via a subscription. We offer four different payment plans – monthly, for 9.99, quarterly for 27.49, semi-annually for 49.99, and annually for 94.99. (Note: for more details or information on the database, its features, or the subscription plans, please visit our Housing Website.) Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions, or for more information on the database, our housing services, or our financial or life planning services. We would love to hear from you! Feedback is also welcomed J

Thank You for Your Continued Support!

Before we sign off today, all of us here at M&L would just like to say thank you to all of our friends, family, clients, and the special needs organizations who have supported us and the housing database over the last few years. We really appreciate all the advice, feedback and words of encouragement that we have received as we have plunged into the world of special needs housing, and we are looking forward to many more anniversaries as we continue to help serve the special needs community.

Thanks again for dropping by; please visit us next week as we discuss our upcoming Housing Update Workshop, in which we present to attendees our latest news in regards to our community development project with Center for Independent Futures.





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