In January 2014, Coalition for Community Choice came together and continues to grow as a unified voice for increasing options and decreasing barriers to housing choices.
Several years ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule change that included changes that defined what settings people with disabilities could use for their Home & Community-Based Service (HCBS) waivers, a funding resource that offers people the chance for greater choice of their desired service providers. Ironically, the proposed policy actually restricted options, and the responses to these changes were overwhelming (See LTO Venture’s Choice v Olmstead for a great commentary).
These changes provoked another round of modifications and release for public comment, which, despite previous feedback, continued to include restrictive definitions of “home and community”. The final version was released in January 2014, since then the CCC has written a policy brief, FAQ, and other materials to explain what these changes may mean for current housing options and the future development of innovative housing for people with disabilities. With almost one million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities still living with caregivers over the age of 60, policy should not be creating any barriers to new affordable housing options.
- 5 million people have autism or other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs), but residential placements are only available for 613,000 and barely increasing to meet the current need.
- Current data shows that there are still more than 200,000 individuals younger than 65 in nursing homes—almost 16 percent of the total nursing home population.
In light of these staggering figures, the Coalition for Community Choice is committed to bringing together like-minded people and organizations in an effort to explore strategies to ensure that people with disabilities, not policymakers, have the right to define their own home and community. People, who have found their sense of belonging and purpose in intentional communities, who live and work in farm communities, who are planning to move into an apartment building with “smart home” technology and design strategies for their unique needs, or who choose to live in neighboring homes with their peers on the same cul-de-sac, have the right to live in a home and community of their choice.
If you believe people with disabilities should have the broadest range of affordable and accessible housing options, please contact the CCC National Coordinator, Desiree Kameka at DKameka@MadisonHouseAutism.org to add your name and/or organization to the growing list of CCC supporters and stay connected for future advocacy alerts.