Below is Disability Network/Michigan's position statement on housing. This information is supported by the Common Disability Agenda.
- Affordable, accessible, visitable housing for all is a common goal. Michigan needs adequate housing for all its citizens. Major goals related to employment and independent living cannot be achieved if people cannot find a place to live. Yet, there is no housing market in the entire country in which a person with a disability living on Supplementary Security Income can afford a safe, accessible modest studio or one bedroom apartment. Michigan must participate in federal subsidized housing programs to the maximum extent possible, give accessibility requirements some teeth, and pass legislation requiring visitability in all new public housing.
- The availability of affordable, accessible housing depends to a great extent—but not entirely— upon factors beyond the control of state government. The issue is so critical to the achievement of full community integration for persons with disabilities that the State has an obligation to take steps to address it. Major goals related to employment and independent living cannot be achieved if people cannot find a place to live. It is not uncommon for people to be forced into nursing homes simply for want of a ramp into their homes. This is a tragic waste of public resources.
Maximum Participation in Federal Subsidized Housing Programs
- The Michigan State Housing Development Authority should continue to encourage maximum use of federal housing subsidies, both by local housing commissions and by the Authority itself, particularly where subsidies are made available specifically to promote the integration of nursing home residents into the community.
Compliance with Accessibility Requirements in Publicly Financed Housing
- Federal and state regulations on the accessibility of all publicly assisted units should be enforced. Violations of these regulations have resulted in many lost opportunities to increase the supply of housing for persons with disabilities.
The Federal Role
- The State should educate its Congressional delegation on the need for additional federal resources for affordable, accessible housing.
The State should require visitability for all new public housing and stop the practice of building homes that are not accessible to persons with disabilities.
Governments and private industry have testified that visitability does not add cost to a new structure.