Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council Housing Initiatives
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council has a mission "to assist the community to include all people with developmental disabilities in every aspect of life." Affordable and accessible housing is an essential need for persons. The Council supports community initiatives that result in persons with developmental disabilities having opportunities for housing. In the 1990s, dramatic changes started to occur regarding home ownership and financing opportunities for people with disabilities. Person-owned and controlled housing remain part of the Council and the nation's agenda as grassroots efforts have challenged the standard way of providing services for people with developmental and other disabilities. An individual should control their housing, who is allowed to enter and the supports that are provided in their home. A person should not have to move from their home if they want to hire a different provider agency, which is often the case when a provider of support services owns the home the person resides in.
Current Council Housing Initiatives:
The Council believes that in order for individuals to have access to homes of their own, they must be well informed about the options in their communities, their rights and the resources developed to assist them with obtaining, modifying and maintaining a home. The housing market and related assistance programs can appear fragmented and can create a maze that families and advocates have to navigate. A central resource that is maintained beyond this project timeframe is essential so that families and advocates can easily navigate the system and access housing of their choice. The Council has developed a housing resource which includes a registry of affordable, accessible, integrated housing in Missouri as well as resources to rent, buy or modify a home of one's own. The Council supports the Missouri Inclusive Housing Development Corporation which assists individuals with disabilities in finding a home that meets their specific needs. Visit the MO IHDC website for more information or contact Wayne Crawford, Director, via email or toll free at 855-444-5100.
HOME OF YOUR OWN
One of the projects supported by the Council was the Home of Your Own (HOYO) project. The Missouri HOYO project demonstrated that low-income (below 50% median) people with significant disabilities can be homeowners without relying on human service programs to provide both housing and supports. HOYO's belief was that the need for housing is separate from the need for support; a simple, yet relatively new concept for the disability field. The aim was to build capacity on a local level to carry on the process beyond the grant period. The HOYO program has helped over 30 Missourians with developmental disabilities obtain homes throughout the state.