Housing is a human right and yet, disabled people too often face homelessness and housing insecurity. As a result, they tend to spend more time institutionalized, on the street, or living with family members than the majority of other populations. Our housing policy work aims to make systemic and broad, long-term changes that impact people with disabilities nationwide.
Access Living supports accessible, affordable, integrated housing for people with disabilities. We fight for:
Accessible housing – Private housing that was first occupied before March 13, 1991, does not have to be accessible. As a result, there isn’t enough such housing in Chicago. Affordable housing, which are usually older structures, often are inaccessible.
Affordable housing – People with disabilities tend to have lower incomes, which thus increases the overall societal need for affordable housing. People with disabilities also often have fixed incomes, the average of which does not cover the rent on a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.
Integrated housing – We do not support the development of segregated, institutional settings such as those created when apartment complexes, large group homes similar facilities are built specifically for people with disabilities. If disabled people are segregated they cannot fully participate in community life
Current housing policy projects
We have a number of projects involving housing currently underway including:
Legislative and administrative advocacy efforts with the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the State of Illinois to increase resources for affordable, accessible, integrated housing. Examples of such resources include dedicated funding for accessibility modifications and incentives for developers who wish to create this type of housing.
DRACH gives the people most impacted a chance to develop their leadership skills and to be directly involved in advocacy work. They teach community organizations and the broader public about the need for housing accessibility, while taking action to fuel change.
DRACH works with coalitions throughout Chicago, including the Chicago Housing Initiative and Lift the Ban, which seek to expand and protect subsidized or affordable rental housing.