Priced Out in 2014: Latest Publication Shows Housing Too Expensive for Individuals with Disabilities

 June 25, 2015
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Hello everyone, and thanks for visiting our blog this week!

Regular readers may have noticed that over the last couple of months, we have been using our blog to write about updates that are occurring with our non-profit, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO). For those of you that may be unfamiliar with ILO, this organization is a newly-formed 501c3 nonprofit, created to bring partcipaing groups together to establish affordable, integrated, sustainable and inclusive communities for our family members with developmental disabilities. We achieve this through the use of community partnerships. (Note: Please read Integrated Living Opportunities: All About The ILO for more information.) 

Today, we are shifting gears, but only slightly – instead of writing directly about ILO, we are going to write about a national study that highlights exactly why the work we are doing with ILO is so important. The study, titled Priced Out in 2014: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities, shines a light on the “enormous gap between rental housing costs and the monthly income of a person living solely on SSI payments.” As we have written many, many times in this blog, special needs housing is in a crisis mode. There are thousands of individuals with disabilities languishing on lists, waiting to access independent living and housing options. As more and more individuals with disabilities age into adulthood, these options (already strained) will become overwhelmed; as time goes on, the gap between the housing needs of those with disability and the services that exist to meet this need will become insurmountable.

Here at M&L, we recognize that this is a problem that will only continue to grow – that is why we are hard at work creating solutions. ILO and its mission to enable families to create their own affordable, sustainable, community based housing is a solution that could play a huge role in increasing the housing options for individuals with disabilities. In fact, we feel that this type of housing is becoming crucial to the future of individuals with disabilities.

So, with that said, please join us for a discussion of Priced Out In 2014; we are confident that by the end of this blog all of our readers will be as committed to ending the special needs housing crisis as we are.

Priced Out in 2014: Key Findings

From beginning to finish, this study outlines what those of us in the special needs community know to be true: many individuals with disability cannot afford housing given the current rental market as compared to monthly federal benefit payments. Consider the following statistics, as taken directly from the study:

– The average annual income of a single individual receiving SSI payments in 2014 was $8,995 – 23% below the 2014 federal poverty line.

– The national average rent for a modest one-bedroom rental unit was $780, equal to 104% of the national average monthly income of a one-person SSI household.

– In 17 states (including the District of Columbia), statewide average one bedroom rents were higher than monthly SSI payments.

– Under current federal standards, a household is considered cost burdened when its housing costs exceed 30% or more of monthly income. As reported above, rents for modest housing units often exceeded 100% of an SSI recipient’s monthly income.

What you should take away from Priced Out in 2014

These findings echo what those in the special needs community have been saying for years: individuals with special needs are unable to access housing that will enable independent, community based living. As well as the barriers created by a lack of housing and years-long wait lists to access current housing resources, individuals with disabilities also face financial barriers. As written in the study, in 2014, “it was virtually impossible for a single adult receiving SSI to obtain decent and safe housing in the community without some type of rental assistance.”

This study, which is an incredibly valuable source of data about the current housing crisis, is also a call to action. As written,

“One of the foundational principles guiding the Commission’s work was that the primary focus of federal housing policy should be to help those most in need. Flowing from this principle were two key recommendations, which appeared in our February 2013 report, Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy. First, we should transition to a system of federal housing assistance in which “extremely low-income” households are assured access to assistance if they need it. Second, our nation must commit itself to increasing the supply of decent and affordable housing, particularly for those Americans with the lowest incomes and fewest resources… Priced Out in 2014 serves to underscore the urgency of putting these recommendations into action.”

Would You Like More Information?

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our website and read our blog today! Here at M&L, we are passionate about the housing challenges facing individuals with disabilities and we welcome every opportunity to spread awareness of this housing crisis and do our part to create solutions. If you are interested in learning more about the different housing opportunities that currently exist, please check out our blog archive on the topic. To do so, select Housing for Individuals with Disability from the drop-down menu titled Blog Categories on the right hand side of our website. If you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to join our housing non-profit Integrated Living Opportunities, please contact us! We love to meet new people, and welcome any opportunity to broaden our network of families with special needs committed to creating community-based housing for their loved ones with disabilities.

Thanks for dropping by!  Hope to see you all next week.

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