Affordable. Accessible. Available.
Do these words describe where you live or want to live? Finding housing that meets your wants and needs can be difficult. There are many factors to consider. First, decide if you want to rent, or own your own home.
Rent a home or apartment
When you rent a home or apartment you agree to pay rent each month and follow certain rules. You sign a lease, which is a binding legal document. You agree to pay rent by a certain date, keep it clean, report problems or needed repairs to your landlord, etc. Some rentals have a reduced price because federal funds are available to pay a portion of the cost. Learn more about renting.
Own your home
Perhaps you want to own your own home. This is a huge commitment of time, money and energy. You will be responsible to pay your mortgage, but you are also responsible to maintain the building and landscape. To purchase a home you will have to plan and save your money. If you will apply for a mortgage, you must have a good credit rating. Once you own the home, you may need to invest more time and money in the remodeling or making the home accessible to meet your mobility needs.
There are resources about owning your own home are available to assist with the financing you may need to buy the home.
Making Your Home Accessible
Making homes accessible can be both challenging and expensive. You may need to build a ramp to enter your home, remodel the bathroom, or make other changes to your home to make it more accessible. Help may be available for you. Find the local organizations and resources that can help you make a home accessible.
When you have an apartment or home, you are responsible for your utilities. Electricity, natural gas and telephone are three examples of utilities you will need to plan to pay each month. There may be times when making these payments is difficult. Programs are available to assist persons with disabilities who have low income. Find these local utility resources that are available to you.
Housing Protection—Fair Housing Act
If you have a disability, you have legal rights with regards to renting and buying a home. The Fair Housing Act provides protections to protect you from discrimination. Learn your rights and responsibilities to protect your rights.
The Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) has additional information on their website. Everyone has the right to home ownership (signing a lease to an apartment or owning a home or condominium.) Not many people with disabilities have had the opportunity to own their own home—but this is changing! Buying or renting a home is not an easy task. Many of the resources available have long waiting lists for housing services. To become a renter or a homeowner takes time, patience, and persistence.