What should I look for when deciding where to live?

Home Forums Exploring Housing Options What should I look for when deciding where to live?

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    Facebook Profile photoShannon Doty

    What options work best for you? What do you like about them? What did you dislike about an option that wasn’t as appealing? All advice is welcome!

    Desiree Kameka

    If you have decided the type of housing and support arrangement you prefer, understand what subsidies or supports you can access, and are now exploring specific options, some of the key features to look for that will influence quality of life include:

    1) Staff relationships- Your support staff will be a big part of your life, so it’s important to see an example of the residential agency in action! Do you like how the staff interact with those they support? Do you like how the staff treats you when you visit? Have a conversation with those who are being supported and ask what they like and what they don’t like about their support staff.

    2) Access to your community- Knowing ahead of time how you will participate in the activities and social circles you love is so important before moving in. Is your employment options/faith community/social interests nearby enough to continually participate? Will you walk, drive, get a ride, or use public transportation to get to these places? How will you be supported in these settings? Don’t just think about staff and roommates as your community, can you meet a neighbor or two and develop relationships before you move into your new home?

    3) Roommates- If you will have roommates, understanding their rhythms of life, interests, and coping mechanisms can mitigate future clashes. If loud music bothers you, yet your roommate needs to listen or play music loud to relax, it could cause stress in the house. If you like to stay up late, but your roommate doesn’t and is a light sleeper, waking them up while heating up snacks in the kitchen could cause tension. If you like your space and prefer a quiet atmosphere, but your roommate is a social butterfly who always wants friends over or to chat with you, they will quickly become annoying.

    Some other specific questions to ask may be: What supports are in place and do they meet my needs? Do I feel safe in this neighborhood? What type of staff accountability standards assure my safety? Can I live here forever if desired? and if I want to move, will they help me? Use the ‘Transition’ filter on AHN Resource Directory for more helpful resources related to transitioning into a new home and community. I hope others share their suggestions as well!

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