A Place in the World - Autism Housing Network

A Place in the World

What Is A Place in the World?

A Place in the World–sister study to 2009’s groundbreaking Opening Doors report–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 helps drive crucial partnerships that address pressing needs resulting from the current housing crisis.

The study serves as the definitive resource for the housing industry, scholars, direct service providers, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders, driving the following actions:

  • Establish the universal language indispensable for innovation and the expansion of and investment in supportive housing developments throughout the U.S. and beyond.
  • Make it possible for housing developers and technology providers to better grasp the needs and nuances of this market and respond with innovative solutions and a range of price points that includes public and private funding sources.
  • Enable the collection, tracking and sharing of baseline and outcome data.
  • Facilitate major policy advances based on data—a key criteria—versus solely on ideology.

The study is informed through data collection, research, think tanks and collaboration with various industry thought leaders, culminating in a report, collateral materials and videos.


“There is not just a housing gap, but a legitimate housing crisis facing adults with autism and other cognitive disabilities. Distinct policy actions–and inaction–influence how we understand and measure the adequacy of housing and services for neurodiverse adults.”

Pooja Paode

Research Assistant, Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU; Fellow, Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy at the First Place Global Leadership Institute

“As with any complex issue, valid, nuanced data is needed to effectively respond to the housing demand of adults with neurodiversities–and there is still so much to learn.”

Chrissie Bausch

Research Analyst, ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy

“We want ‘A Place in the World‘ to inform the decision-making happening in the community and at the same time inspire future scholars who select this type of research for their career paths.”

Andrea Whitsett

Director, ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy

“Building communities that provide housing for all members of our diverse population is part of our mission. We are pleased to provide support for such a groundbreaking study and look forward to its results.”

Juan Salgado

Chief Executive Officer, Phoenix IDA/Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation

“Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could develop a community that focused more on independent, semi-independent living in an apartment sort of setting where individuals would control their own space, make choices and also have staff supports?”

Jim Whittaker

President/CEO, The Arc Jacksonville

“Affordable housing, or the lack thereof, is the biggest issue… The only way to address that, we felt, was not to study it,  but to increase the supply of homes that people could afford.”

Tom Toronto

Bergen County's United Way

“Helping individuals with a range of different abilities live the healthiest, happiest, most integrated lives possible drives me every day. I’m excited to be a part of advancing the healthcare delivery system to work better for everyone.”

Amy Pawlowski

Executive Director, Complex Care, United Healthcare Community Plan

“Housing and community options for special populations are today where the senior housing industry started 50 years ago. We still have much to do to create a marketplace of options, recognizing that, like age, diagnosis alone does not determine an individual’s home needs or preferences.”

Denise Resnik

Founder & President/CEO, First Place AZ

“For millions of adults with autism, ‘the next empty bed’ should not be the only option. By bridging innovation across different industries, we can create an array of neuro-inclusive housing opportunities that benefit everyone in communities across the country.”

Desiree Kameka Galloway

Director, Autism Housing Network

“Good design for autism is just good design. It’s not that different from other design processes. We just need to add in a few more layers.”

Mike Duffy

Senior Associate, Project Design Architect, RSP Architects

In Collaboration With

Lead Partners & Major Sponsors

This seminal work would not be possible without the generous support of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, the Phoenix IDA, the Arizona Community Foundation and Bill and Alyssa Sunderland, all leaders recognizing the value of housing as a major social determinant of health and the need for a common language to inform, improve and launch a marketplace of innovative housing solutions.

Leadership Advisory Board

An international Leadership Advisory Board representing industry luminaries is working together to develop strategies for how public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors can build, grow and align communities to meet ever-increasing demand and serve the vast and diverse needs of individuals with autism and other neurodiverse populations. These thought leaders are defining—and defying—barriers and further exploring various models to significantly improve and increase access to supportive housing across the country.


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