Statewide Strategic Framework
In October 2017, LHA launched a year-long effort to produce a Statewide Strategic Framework
for the development of affordable housing for people with developmental disabilities. During this period,
leaders in the field, including family advocates, service providers, housing developers, financial institutions,
policy-makers and legislators, will be engaged to construct a framework for moving forward in both tested and
innovative ways to address the need for affordable, supportive housing for this most vulnerable community.
Three decades of de-institutionalization studies have found that people with developmental disabilities who move from institutions to smaller community settings are happier, healthier, have more control over their lives, and are better able to independently function after they move. And, yet, only 9% of developmentally disabled adults within the state’s Regional Center network are living independently. Why is this? Currently 75% of this vulnerable population are living with aging parents. In the coming decades the demand independent living options will exponentially grow as aging baby boomers are no longer able to care for their adult children.
Due to several market realities beyond the control of people with developmental disabilities, our state is in the midst of a severe shortage of affordable housing. This unaffordability crisis can be attributed to factors such as limited income residents through SSI, stagnant wage growth, surging market rents, land-use policies that are prohibitive of affordable housing development, accelerated conversion of market rate rental units into “short-term” rentals, the state’s elimination of redevelopment agencies, steady reduction of federal public funding, and competition from other target communities for available public support.
The Strategic Framework development is funded through a grant issued by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) and the process for creating the framework will be led by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). Along with LHA, this collaboration will engage key stakeholders, establish benchmarks, identify broad goals and encourage visionary problem solving related to housing and related services for California’s DD population.
Reflecting LHA’s statewide membership, the Strategic Framework will include the following:
- Data on existing and projected needs within diverse populations and current rate of housing development within the state
- Best practices and lessons learned from successful DD initiatives across the United States
- Currently available funding sources for capital, financing, rent subsidies and supportive services
- New funding models and innovative development or ownership strategies, recognizing that some options may not be currently eligible for federal support
- Innovative intervention strategies utilized with other vulnerable communities
- Strategic alignment of California’s developmental services and affordable housing systems
- Opportunities for continued engagement at local/state/federal levels.
Significant consideration will be given to the need for sustainable capital financing and supportive services funding, the role of families and regional centers in providing supportive housing choices, innovative ownership and management models from around the state and country, and equal access to tax credit financing for supportive housing projects.
Research and Data Collection
Information will be gathered by researching available data, conducting broad-based surveys, and scheduling one-on-one and group meetings, and in some cases, public hearings.
LHA would like to invite all stakeholders--consumer/tenants, parents/family members, advocates, service providers, developers, or financial institutions--to become part of this groundbreaking process, either as an observer or a participant. Let us know if you would like to be kept informed and/or take part in meetings or hearings that will occur in your district. LHA is determined to create systemic change in the availability of independent living choices for people with developmental disabilities living in California. We believe that, in partnership with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, this Strategic Framework will be the first step toward realizing that change.