Building a home with an apartment

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    We are considering building a modular home that has an apartment upstairs.  Separate entrance.  We don’t think group homes are a good fit for our son.  We think this would give us separation and boundaries. Would hire staff for community and employment interest.

    Has anyone tried this?  Pros? Con?  Please advise.


    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Paige,

    Sorry for the delay, I didn’t see this until now! Yes, this is not only a great option for privacy and affordability, but could be an income stream and natural support system when you no longer live downstairs. Autism Housing Pathways in MA is a pro at this model and has even helped introduce legislation to make it easier for others to access! See this article by Cathy Boyle who is the Founder and the President of Autism Housing Pathways:

    Northstreet Neighborhood in NC has a few homes in their intentional community that have been renovated like you describe. You can watch the video of a family who did this to their home in this article:

    In my opinion the pros and cons are as follows:

    PROS: housing stability as he will never be kicked out by a service provider or have to move because of rising rent (as long as it remains in a trust), offers him an income stream (into a trust) or natural support system after you no longer live there, he can remain and continue to develop relationships in his existing community, he gets the benefits of privacy and pride in his own space

    CONSIDERATIONS: Will he be lonely without a roommate? Can you add a 2 bedroom upstairs so he can have a roommate? Who will be in charge of finding, training, paying, scheduling and replacing staff? Can staff afford to live and/or access your neighborhood? Can or would he report if a staff person was not treating him right in his home (no one else would be able to testify in support of him without extra eyes in the house)? If he is injured or loses mobility, how will he access a second floor apartment? Does your county/town/city have zoning restrictions on this type of arrangement?  If he does not drive, can he access public transportation, uber/lyft, use special transportation services, or find rides or walk/roll to places he would like to go?

    Hope this helps! If you would like to schedule a consultation for 1-to1 assistance, please fill out this form:

    Best regards,


    Facebook Profile photoJoyceL

    Like Paigemp we are looking to building an in-law suite / granny flat for our son.  We too are exploring modular building to do this.  The suite would have a small kitchen area, a bedroom and bath.  He would have a separate entrance but also an entrance into the family space so that he and we can go back and forth easily.  I have found modular companies have experience with “granny flats” and “in-law suites” as a separate module that can be added onto one end (or the back) of your home.    One thing to look into first is to see if there are any zoning restrictions in your town.  Our town allows it IF you can prove the person is a relative and has a disability.  But each permit is for five years and then you get a renewal.  Our state agency has told us we would get some additional services to help him in his apartment.



    If anybody of you is looking for the home, house or any other apartment. If the apartment has the bi-fold doors according to the interior and the architecture that looks best then nice.

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