Protect State Funds for Housing for People with Disabilities

2014-November5-DRACH-Cecelia-Black
Housing advocates with the Disability Rights Action Coalition for housing addressing the need for more housing support
An Action Alert from Access Living’s Director of Advocacy, Amber Smock. This message stresses the need for affordable, integrated, accessible housing for people with disabilities. Integrated housing keeps people out of nursing homes, which saves thousands of dollars per person each year.

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

We continue our advocacy daily actions this week with an action alert on state-funded housing today. Keep up the good work! Scroll down to learn more and do the action.

One of the greatest challenges faced by people with disabilities is the lack of accessible, affordable, and integrated homes in our communities. This lack of housing options leaves many of us trapped in nursing facilities, out on the streets, staying with family, or in inaccessible homes. How can we win full community integration if we can’t even get in the front door?

State programs that support accessible, affordable, and integrated homes, such as the Illinois Bridge Subsidy, Permanent Supportive Housing, and rental subsidy programs can help people with disabilities obtain the accessible, affordable, integrated housing we need to live full lives in their communities. Plus – this is a great deal for the state. Providing an individual housing instead of warehousing them in a nursing home saves the state an estimated $37,000 a year.

State-funded programs that help people with disabilities obtain accessible, affordable, and integrated homes are important for Illinois and save hundreds of millions of dollars in costs related to institutionalization. Examples of state-funded programs include:

• Permanent supportive housing (empowers people to live in the community with supports)
• Bridge Subsidy Programs (provide temporary subsidy for people leaving institutions)
• Funding for housing locaters to support Colbert consent decree class members
• Homeless services
• Other rental subsidy programs

Currently, as you know, the Governor is reportedly working on a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 that would have a possible 10% cut to programs across the board. This cut would be extremely damaging to programs that provide accessible, affordable, and integrated housing. Reduced funding for these programs would mean that people with disabilities would continue to be trapped in nursing facilities, out on the street, with family members, or in inaccessible homes---ruining lives and costing the state millions of dollars.

Today, please let your legislator know that funding for programs that provide accessible, affordable, and integrated homes are essential to people with disabilities and the state of Illinois. These programs SAVE money. They save people’s lives and they save the state money. Just go to http://www.capwiz.com/accessliving/issues/alert/?alertid=64122011&type=ST and fill out the easy form. You can edit the letter to personalize it. Do it now! It takes only a few minutes to protect housing options for Illinoisans with disabilities.

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living