Help For The Handicapped Renter
Looking for a place to live when you suffer from any type of physical disability can be incredibly frustrating. Not only must you go through all the typical stresses of finding a safe, comfortable home with an aesthetically pleasing environment, but you must also look for handicap accessibility. If you're looking on your own, the search can be long and difficult.
Marcy * was diagnosed with Tourettes syndrome at the age of sixteen. Due to this disease, she is unable to work and thus is forced to depend on the government for money. 'Do you know how much the states give us to live on each month?' her friend Joan * asks, 'It's not even poverty level.' Due to a lack of funding, Marcy had to move back home. 'It makes me feel like I'll never be able to have my own place,' she says, 'I'll always depend on someone... and that's not my idea of fun.'
Joan also suffers from a disability which prevents her from working. Due to a rare neuro-muscular disease called Kearns-Sayre syndrome, she will soon be wheelchair-bound. 'When people buy or rent places they don't have to think about two years down the road. I have to. I know I have to be on the ground level. No stairs. Inside there must be lower counters. The bathrooms must be accessible. There have to be ramps.' Looking for somewhere meeting all of those requirements which also fit into her budget was difficult. 'It made me feel alienated.'
The California State Independent Living Council (SILC) recently conducted a study on the impact of housing availability, accessibility, and affordability on people with disabilities. According to the study, 'More than any other population group, people with disabilities are more likely to experience acute housing problems: problems of stigma and discrimination, affordability, and access to safe and decent housing.'
The study found that 21.0% of the population of people with disabilities (PWD) are unable to work. For those that are able to find a fitting job, the per capita income among PWD is only 59.7% of that of the general population. These people are forced to find housing that will fit their budget, while fitting their accessibility needs.
In order to help the disabled in the frustrating - and sometimes unsuccessful attempts at finding a fitting place to live, the National Accessible Apartment Clearinghouse(NAAC) provides them with a free service. NAAC is represented in over 43 States and over 155 major metropolitan areas nation-wide.
'Our Staff searches the accessible apartment database of over 46,000 specially designed apartments based on residents needs and desired locations. Prospective residents will then receive a listing of all the accessible apartments in their geographical area of choice. The listings include the accessible features of each apartment community and individual apartment home.'
NAAC maintains the only national database of accessible apartments. Since NAAC is a non-profit organization, and all services provided are free, you needn't worry about losing any money. You can contact the NAAC by calling 1-800-421-1221 or emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* names have been changed
About the author:
Since 1989 Dan the roommate man has helped 1000's of people find roommates. Need help? Contact him at 800-487-8050 or www.roommateexpress.com