Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) have unique and varying needs, and finding affordable, supportive housing is one of them. It is an integral component of establishing a foundation to grow from and one of the most critical social determinants of health for everyone in society. Not only does a home provide a feeling of support and comfort, but it also helps people feel included and part of their communities. Everyone has the right to live in a safe, affordable home with the level of assistance they need and deserve. Community Mainstreaming Associates (CMA) has a certified residential services program that assists with this need by offering a range of housing options for people with IDDs.
These services provide both supervised and supportive individualized residential alternatives (IRAs). These residences are certified and made available for individuals with IDDs through the support of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Community Mainstreaming Associates’ Role
Our programs and services offer individuals with IDDs and their families the unique ability to create different levels of support most appropriate for their exploration and growth in a safe environment. In addition, CMA prides itself in fostering growth in a supportive and safe environment through various Individual Residential Alternatives.
- Supervised IRAs – are managed by experienced and knowledgeable staff 24 hours a day. Individuals are assisted with developing life skills at home and in the community. Our professionals also assist with medical, financial, and personal needs. Additionally, we offer a specialized Alzheimer’s/dementia home for those needing this specialized care level.
- Currently, CMA has 11 fully supervised IRAs
- Supportive IRAs – are focused on individuals looking for more independent residential accommodations. In these homes, men and women can live in a house or an apartment with friends (2 or 3 people) and receive support services to assist their daily needs. These homes are OPWDD certified, and CMA provides approximately 20 hours of staffing weekly, based on each person’s needs. Assistance is available in areas such as: making and keeping medical appointments, budgeting and paying bills, nutrition planning, and grocery shopping.
- Currently, CMA has 4 supportive IRAs
Housing Options for Individuals with IDDs Are at a Critical Level
There are currently thousands of people with IDDs in need of appropriate housing. In New York State alone, there is a wait-list of more than 5,000 individuals and long delays in placement. Laws have been passed that require the state to develop and supply housing for those with IDDs. Unfortunately, the housing options and support needs are not being met for most people who require them. The responsibility then falls on the families, becoming a genuine concern for aging parents worried about how long they can care for their children with IDDs.
On top of the dire need for additional housing, there is as much of a need for staffing. Many group homes and residential settings are vastly understaffed, with an average of 25% (sometimes higher) vacancy rate for direct care staff. This staff shortage affects the quality of care and even their ability to stay open. Click here to learn more about how to advocate in New York State for higher staff salaries.
Our Unwavering Commitment Remains
No matter New York State’s struggles with meeting housing needs, CMA continues to care for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. These individuals and their families need us and the services we provide, and we will continue to support and advocate for them.
There are ways that you can help with the housing needs of people with IDDs. Consider joining our community builders program so we can continue to help make a difference.