11/13/18 PRESS ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Josh Winkler (720) 280-1803
Dawn Russell (303) 884-1471
WHO: National ADAPT
WHAT: ADAPT Demands the Division of Housing Act to End the Colorado Housing Crisis for Disabled People
WHERE: Colorado Division of Housing Office
WHEN: Tuesday, November 13th, 2018; Happening NOW
ADAPT Demands Colorado Division of Housing Increase Availability of Affordable, Accessible, Integrated Housing
11/13/18 Denver, CO – Members of the Disability Rights group ADAPT are at the Colorado Division of Housing to demand that the Division support an increase in accessible, affordable, integrated housing in Colorado. For many elderly and Disabled Coloradans wishing to remain in the community, a shortage of funding for and general lack of accessible housing units leads to unwanted institutionalization.
“Housing that meets our needs continues to be one of the primary barriers to people with disabilities transitioning into the Colorado community,” said Jackie Mitchell of Atlantis ADAPT, “It is impossible to move out of a nursing home if there are no accessible homes in the community to move into.”
ADAPT is working to increase the amount of accessible housing. Currently, federal law requires that 5% of all housing built with federal funds be accessible for people with physical disabilities, and 2% be accessible for people with hearing or vision disabilities. According to the United States Census and Colorado’s Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging, the percentage of Coloradans in need of accessible housing exceeds the amount of accessible housing required to be built with federal funds and the need for accessible housing is only going to increase in the next decade as the population ages. Because of the extreme need for accessible, affordable, integrated housing, ADAPT is demanding that the Division increase the amount of accessible housing being built to have 10% be physically accessible and 4% accessible for people with vision and hearing disabilities.
However, accessibility of the housing units is not the only problem. Accessible housing is useless to disabled people if it is not also affordable as many disabled people live on fixed incomes. Colorado developed the Community Choice Transition vouchers to help disabled people transition from institutions and into the community. The vouchers were meant to assist 225 Disabled Coloradans with securing housing. However due to rising costs of housing, the program cannot cover the costs of all 225 vouchers. ADAPT is calling on the Division of Housing to endorse an increase in funding for the Community Choice Transition waiver in order to fully fund all 225 vouchers.
Ian Engle of Colorado ADAPT said, “Colorado’s resistance to setting aside funding for accessible, affordable, integrated housing vouchers indicates that they not only know there is an issue, but that they do not prioritize deinstitutionalization for their disabled citizens.”
For decades, ADAPT has worked to increase the availability of accessible housing that is affordable and integrated.