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Transitioning to Adulthood with a Disability: Housing

Living independently is a major milestone of adulthood but, as with most of the topics I’ve written about in this series, when factoring in special needs it can take extra time to achieve.

I am twenty-nine years old, and am still living with my parents. I have been on a waiting list for accessible housing for about four, almost five years now and can expect to wait another six before anything happens. While I’m waiting, I am looking for apartments on my own but there really isn’t much more I can do for myself at this point. What I can do is share some tips I’ve learned that will hopefully make this process much easier for others.

Start Early

When I say early, I mean as soon as possible. Many registries and organizations that offer accessible housing have wait lists you can be on for a decade or longer before seeing any kind of momentum. I’ve been on one for almost five years now, and haven’t really moved on it. If I had have known this, I would have registered as soon as I graduated high school or at the very latest, after my first year of college.

Have All Your Ducks in a Row

Housing registries and organizations often require a lot of information before even sending you an application. Here are just a few things to take into consideration before filling out any forms:

  • Subsidies. Some housing organizations are subsidized by the government, so if you are receiving any extra money, it might be helpful to let people know.
  • Your disability. Certain registries and organizations cater to people with specific disabilities and functionality levels.
  • Where exactly in your intended area do you want to live? Depending on the area, a registry could have many different housing locations. Keep your location of choice in mind, but be aware that, with some registries, selecting multiple locations can cut down your time on a wait list.
  • What type of housing do you think best suits your needs and lifestyle? From barrier-free apartments to complexes with in-home attendant care to group homes, there are many different options to choose from when looking for special needs housing. Consider all your options, and choose what’s best for you.

Remember, this is a long process

Like I said, the process for accessible housing can take many years. With this in mind, it’s important to keep on top of things. Some registries will tell you to check in once a year. I would advise checking in two or three times. It lets them know you’re on the ball and it keeps you in routine. And lastly, there will be a lot of hiccups and headaches, so remember to keep positive.

DISCLAIMER: The details associated with some of the following topics apply to my personal experiences, and may differ from place to place. Consult with local professionals for specifics.


The editor wishes to thank Scott for his contributions to the site. He will now longer be writing for our site because he is busy with work and life and living! Thanks again Scott!

Note: To support the site we make money on some products, product categories and services that we talk about on this website through affiliate relationships with the merchants in question. We get a small commission on sales of those products.That in no way affects our opinions of those products and services.

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