Finding subsidies

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    While brainstorming the possibility of opening a group home, the inevitable question of funding has come up. This group home would hypothetically cater to currently employed individuals on the autism spectrum in the South Florida area. In order to succeed as a resource for independent living, the home would of course have to be financially sustainable.

    My question is – how can we go about finding reliable subsidies?

    Desiree Kameka

    GREAT question! Knowing the amazing employer, Rising Tide, and their vision for empowering their neurodiverse employee’s, my suggestion is NOT to create a “group home.” Typically, the term group home is used to describe a home that a service agency owns or leases and provides support to the people who live in the home. If a resident in the home no longer likes their service provider, or needs that level of support, or doesn’t like the service provider rules- they CAN NOT get another service provider to support them and would be FORCED to move to switch service providers.

    I think what Rising Tide may be desiring to do is help their employee’s access a) affordable housing and b) access support in their home.

    So here are some options for affordable a) HOUSING:

    1. Help them understand the process apply for a “housing voucher” at your local Public Housing Authority (PHA). If they get a voucher, they would be able to find a market rate apartment and only pay 30% of their income to rent and the rest would be paid for by the voucher to the landlord. You can apply for vouchers at multiple PHAs for different areas. I am assuming Parkland, FL is in the Broward County Housing Authority area:
    2. Some housing is developed using affordable housing funding to keep rents low. You can try to explore and find these subsidized units near you by using this website:
    3. A group of families get together to purchase a home together, each owning a % of the property and renting it to their loved one.
    4. Rising Tide or another LLC or 501c3 is created to purchase a home or develop a piece of property to rent to Rising Tide employee’s (They can also accept housing vouchers or use affordable housing money for development of multi-family properties)

    Here are some options for b) SUPPORT to live independently:

    1. Employee applies for a Medicaid waiver which offers in-home services, personal assistance or residential support from your state’s Medicaid agency and hires a service provider to offer the support they need:
    2. A supportive roommate shares the home with neurodiverse residents who need support. They could pay rent and be paid for their support, or in exchange for support have reduced/free rent.
    3. Residents private-pay for the support they need.
    4. Have rotating family or community volunteers who help support those who live in the home (not reliable, but helpful if funding is an issue!)

    Hope this offers a bit of clarity for options! The Education page of the AHN has helpful links like a Virtual Tour of Housing & Support options, Public Funding 101, and how to use the AHN for different housing goals:

    You can also schedule a consultation for more specific help or problem solving:

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