OUR HOUSING INITIATIVES
Housing is necessary for stability in each of our lives. Every person in our community, regardless of disability, should have access to the housing and support services they need to thrive. Unfortunately, individuals with disabilities today face a severe lack of affordable, safe and appropriate housing in communities throughout the country.
In response to the current housing crisis, MHAF has developed three important housing initiatives: the Autism Housing Network (AHN), the Coalition for Community Choice (CCC) and the Empowering Communities Initiative (ECI).
Our housing initiatives work to empower people in the communities where they live so that we can all respond most effectively to local needs and considerations as we tackle this national challenge. Continue reading below to learn more about these initiatives.
THE CURRENT STATE OF HOUSING
Autism Housing Network
The AHN is the first interactive online platform of its kind to bring together the best ideas and resources concerning housing for the neurodiverse population. Our vision is to become the largest national database of user-generated resources and residential opportunities.
The AHN strives to inspire, empower and provide technical expertise to project starters working to respond locally to the national housing and support crisis. Browse resources in your area, reach out to other project starters, and submit your own emerging housing project today!
The Autism Housing Network is a brilliant resource for families creating housing options and putting together a person-centered support system. This powerful tool is designed to educate and create a forum of communication to support self-advocates and families who may feel lost or helpless when thinking about housing for adults with special needs. It will certainly help change mindsets towards creating a future that empowers people.
In tears of joy finding [the Autism Housing Network] on my Facebook newsfeed. Bless you all. Truly a gift.
I am so excited to see the new Autism Housing Network. I meet and talk to many families each week who are desperate for good housing and support options, and this platform will be a great, all-in-one resource for families and individuals desperately in need.
After weeks of searching the internet for models of residences for autistic individuals, I was thrilled to find the AHN. It is both comforting and inspiring to know that there are groups and individuals around the county who are working toward the same goal I am: to provide a safe and supportive place for autistic individuals to live their lives to the fullest.
We are thrilled to see that one of the recommendations from the seminal Opening Doors Study – to create an interactive database to connect families – is now being answered with the Autism Housing Network. This platform has extraordinary potential to spark ideas, promote successful models, share best practices and be a catalyst for advocates and parents eager to work together on solutions.
GROUNDBREAKING REPORT: A PLACE IN THE WORLD
In partnership with Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, and First Place AZ and its Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy, MHAF’s Autism Housing Network published a new study titled A Place in the World, which offers the universal language for a guiding narrative to research, develop and achieve supportive housing solutions.
The groundbreaking report includes more than 150 terms to help guide people to better understand housing preferences, accessibility needs, supportive amenities, service delivery models and more. It aims to clearly define nomenclature and market segments for the benefit and application of all sectors; establish best practices and guiding principles; and drive crucial partnerships and policy decisions that address pressing needs compounded by the current housing crisis.
The study provides the foundational nomenclature for housing and service delivery models with the goal to further define market segments, establish best practices and guiding principles, and help drive crucial partnerships that address pressing needs resulting from the current housing crisis.
Coalition for Community Choice
The CCC is a national grassroots alliance of individuals and organizations which aims to advance policy that increases options and decreases barriers to housing, support services, and employment choices for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Advocacy efforts by the CCC have helped to influence new CMS guidance concerning previously restrictive regulations that required heightened scrutiny in order for some housing and community models to qualify for waiver funding. Add your voice by joining the CCC today!
Empowering Communities Initiative
The Empowering Communities Initiative (ECI) offers individuals and organizations private consultations, technical assistance concerning policy, visioning workshops and local market analysis for grassroots organizing of local housing solutions.
MHAF Director of Community Engagement and Housing Networks, Desiree Kameka, is a nationally recognized disability housing expert and keynote speaker. Over the last decade, she has visited over 100 residential opportunities and social enterprises across the US and abroad. Her immense knowledge saves project starters time, frustration, and money and jumpstarts new housing opportunities across the country for individuals with disabilities.