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  • in reply to: Section 811 project based funding #13781
    Desiree Kameka

    New Danville just outside of Houston TX used project-based 811:

    Columbus Hub of Opportunity in Utah used them and tax credits:

    It is really important to understand the red tape that goes along with these and other funding streams. For example, 811 funding comes with a 25% density restriction for people with disabilities. Most of the info can be found in the Resource Directory using the filter ‘financing.’ I could save you time, give you the nutshell version and answer some of your questions if you schedule a consultation:

    in reply to: Public policy #12872
    Desiree Kameka

    There are several immediate issues that must be addressed in order to ensure the future of autistic adults and others with I/DD will be full of choices and opportunities:

    • Policy must not limit where individuals can live or work by refusing access to their supports in certain settings the state deems not “home and community.”
    • Waitlists for access to essential support services continue to grow, and advocates must urge their state to increase funding in order to meet the growing demand for adult services.
    • States must offer flexible enough waiver options to meet the diverse needs of individuals with I/DD, including by way of consumer-directed or self-determination waivers.
    • Housing lacks affordability. Therefore, advocating for more affordable housing funding is essential to ensure individuals with I/DD can afford homes and are not forced into the “next empty bed” when a crisis arises.
    in reply to: Is it true waiver recipients can not live in farmsteads? #12871
    Desiree Kameka

    Absolutely! It is important to understand the regulations. Learn more at the Coalition for Community Choice:

    in reply to: Where to start #12793
    Desiree Kameka

    We have created this list of suggestions on how to start a project using the tools on the AHN:

    Without knowing much about your vision, its hard to share suggestions, but here is where others have found great support:

    • Local SCORE office for business plan development:
    • Contacting your state housing and finance authority and asking to be introduced to an affordable housing developer who may have an interest in developing for this population in mind:
    • Contacting cohousing professionals who can help your dream become a reality:
    • Local faith communities for land, financial and social support
    • Local university department heads: Education, Psychology, Speech Pathology,  OT, Social work, etc.
    in reply to: Finding subsidies #12791
    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:

    in reply to: Pooled Special Needs Trusts #12554
    Desiree Kameka

    Just posted on our Facebook page, hopefully you get a few responses. Also, I just spoke to several hundred attorneys who are part of a nation-wide network called the Special Needs Alliance. There website pulls up these resources that may give you more perspectives:

    in reply to: Exploring Housing Options in Frederick County #12544
    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Del,

    The first step would be to determine if you really want to create a licensed group home.  A few things:

    1. It is not necessary to create a licensed group home, and that model may become a more restrictive environment than needed. Your son and friends can live in the home and each have different service providers they prefer. This way if someone’s needs change, they do not have to give up their home to change service providers.
    2. You do not have to give or donate the home to a service provider in order for them to serve your son and his friends in the home. This is not necessary and can put him at risk in the future.
    3. There should not be any extraordinary zoning issues that arise just because the tenants would have disabilities. SOMETIMES the zoning issue may be having more than a few unrelated persons living together, but that is a local issue.
    4. If the home is a private and NOT LICENSED, the home does not need to be ADA compliant nor have sprinklers, etc. It is suggested that the home allows residents to age in place and be able to invite friends over who may use a wheelchair. You can find accessibility checklists and tips in the AHN Resource Directory.

    Feel free to schedule a consult if you have further specific questions:

    Also, it may be helpful to view this AHN Virtual Tour of Housing and Support Models which outlines 18 different models to offer inspration:

    Desiree Kameka

    As requested, a new forum has been created. Feel free to start a thread or a few:

    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Alexandra,

    Here are a few directions:

    1. For assistance in purchasing a single home or developing multi-family affordable housing, every state has a State Housing and Finance authority that may be a good first step. They have a different name in each state, but you can find yours on this list. Check and see what programs your state offers. Do not be afraid to make an appointment and share your concern about the lack of housing options for citizens with autism or other intellectual/developmental disabilities:
    2. Go to the AHN Resource Directory and use the filter ‘Topics’ > ‘Finance Housing Development’ to find a list of resources:
    3. Check out our suggestions on using the AHN to create your own solution:

    Hope this is a helpful start!


    in reply to: San Jose California #12462
    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Nan,

    It is typical to not have the perfect option in your hometown. It is for this reason that many families are creating their own solutions thus a big reason for the Autism Housing Network to be a hub for housing info and support. Here are some first general steps:
    1) It’s important to explore what type of housing and support arrangements may fit your son best. I suggest you start by watching our Virtual Tour of Housing options:
    2) There are public financial assistance and support systems, but they are disconnected so the key is understanding them and seeing if your son would qualify. DO NOT count your income or any help you give him financially when questions ask about “income”. You can see some first steps including Public Funding 101 on our Education page:
    3) Use the AHN Resource Directory and filter for ‘Objectives’>’Public Assistance’ to find resources and guides to navigating public assistance for supplemental income, finding a job, help with food, energy bills, or a phone:
    4) I do offer direct consultations for a $100 fee which helps us continue to run our free programming. I would try to understand his needs and preferences which would lead to a list of steps, links to options and resources specifically for his situation. Simply fill out this form if you would like to schedule a consultation:
    Hope this is a good start!
    Warm regards,
    in reply to: States with no housing waiting list #12452
    Desiree Kameka

    @Jen, you should add DragonFLY Landing to the AHN Housing Directory!  Just fill out this form so we can share your listing with others:

    in reply to: What regulations are there for group homes? #12366
    Desiree Kameka

    Happy to have been able to connect all of you!

    in reply to: What regulations are there for group homes? #12317
    Desiree Kameka

    @Jennifer, I’ll reach out to Brenda and give her your contact info.

    in reply to: Farm/Homestead tour – midwest to east #12076
    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Holly,

    If you go to the AHN Housing Directory, you can use the filter under ‘lifestyle’ to find other agricultural or farmstead communities and then view the results on the map.

    Some of the key stops you may consider on your journey that fall within that lifestyle would be  Juniper Hill Farm (Pennsylvania, consumer-controlled housing and residents use waivers), Innisfree (Virginia, private pay), Safe Haven Farm (Ohio, consumer-controlled housing and residents use waivers),  and Benjamin’s Hope (Michigan, provider-controlled housing and residents use waivers).

    Hope this helps and offers some direction!


    in reply to: Tallahassee, FL #12052
    Desiree Kameka

    Greetings Neurodiversity Scholar,

    Finding affordable housing is a HUGE challenge, especially when one must take into account accessibility. If you are looking just for housing and not amenities or services, my suggestion is to look at this website to see the affordable, accessible options in that area:

    I highly suggest you contact the Center for Independant Living in the area as they may have good “insider” info on access to housing and other financial support for people with disabilities:

    You may also consider contacting the FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities which offers support services, and may help you access additional social, volunteer, work or leadership opportunities.

    You can always check Craigslist or other networking sites for housing, but make sure you have a signed lease agreement in place upon exchange of any money. Also, make sure to check that you will have access to transportation.

    Hope this helps,


    PS I am a Miami Hurricane, but won’t hold being a Nole against you 😉

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 41 total)