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Feds urge cities to create more affordable housing for disabled

Living with a disability is not always easy, as many St. Louis residents know. Even when a disability can be managed, it often takes prescription medication, therapy sessions and countless visits to the doctor to do it. Unfortunately, these products and services are not free. And even though Social Security disability benefits can provide some financial relief, many people are still barely scraping by. For this reason, the federal government is asking communities across the country to help play a role in making things a little easier for people with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is looking specifically to those housing providers who receive federal aid money to help with the problem. By partnering with local and state governments, HUD officials say local housing providers can create affordable housing for people with disabilities.

While there are many ways to create affordable housing, HUD officials would like to see housing that is spefically tailored to individuals who may otherwise have to live in an institution or are transitioning out of living in an institution. Not only would it allow people with disabilities to lead a more independent life, but it would also allow them to truly be a part of the communities they live in. As of right now, HUD has only issued a guidance document to help local entities understand how they can help -- no additional requirements have been implemented. 

Being severly limited to housing options because of both a disability and financial restraint is a terrible feeling. Most people would much rather live among other community members than be forced to stay in an institution. Hopefully this initiative by the federal government will promote new development of affordable housing in St. Louis and the rest of the country. 

Source: Disability Scoop, "Feds Call For Expanded Community Living Options," Michelle Diament, June 7, 2013

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