Support Services

Specialized Housing, Inc.: A Successful Case Study

In Massachusetts, a group of parents have created a successful organization called Specialized Housing, Inc., to develop condominium housing for and provide support services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “My daughter is having a life that’s far richer than I ever imagined,” says one parent. “It’s impossible to put into words the feeling of having our youngster in a tremendously supportive environment.”

The Support Services

To live in one of the homes, the potential residents must be capable of self-care and occupied during regular business hours in work, training, or a school program. This way  support staff, including a house manager, is only required on weekday evenings and weekends. A staff member is available at other times, however, for emergencies.

In addition to the house staff, a clinical supervisor works with each home, as a consultant to the house manager.  He or she meets regularly with the residents of the home (without the staff) to discuss the group’s concerns and act as a liaison.

The staff facilitates independent living, serves as a resource to each resident for planning and decision-making, and provides monitoring and encouragement as needed.

Process to Obtain Housing with Specialized Housing, Inc.

  1. The parents form a group. Their children may work together or go to school together, or the group may have been formed from the Specialized Housing waiting list.
  2. The parents agree on a convenient location.
  3. Each family purchases a unit, with the resident, family member, or trust as the owner of record. The unit, purchased like a condominium and financed just like other real estate, includes personal living space for the individual as well as a share in the common areas of the home.
  4. The condominium association or trust manages the home, including property upkeep, handling financial issues, and managing support services.
  5. The owners of each unit elect the trustees of the association.
  6. The families involved help screen new residents and provide organizational and ongoing management support. Residents and their families maintain a high level of control, as well as enjoying the benefits of home ownership.

How Specialized Housing, Inc. Is Funded

  • Specialized Housing, Inc. helps track and maximize resident entitlement programs
  • Residents and their families meet the expenses of the home, including staff supports.
  • Residents and families may enjoy tax benefits of home ownership.

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