Safe, affordable and appropriate housing is a key part of everyone's success. Yet, there is not affordable housing for Oregonians experiencing IDD. This makes it harder for people with IDD to have a job, friends and a life as a member of their community. It also means:
- People with IDD are living in places they may not want to live or places that are unsafe.
- Some people are being supported in places that are more expensive than if they were supported in their own home or apartment.
- For children with IDD, as families create a vision for their child's life in community, it becomes difficult to make that a reality without true community housing options when the child becomes an adult.
Over the next few weeks, you have an opportunity to put housing needs for people with IDD at the forefront of Oregon's Statewide Housing Plan. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is Oregon's affordable housing agency. It provides financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of lower and moderate income.
Oregon Housing and Community Services is placing a greater emphasis on strategic planning and the way it uses state resources. OHCS' recent work has led to a greater emphasis on data, research and customer service. Now, they are moving forward to develop a Statewide Housing Plan.
The plan will clearly spell out the extent of Oregon's housing problem and what can be done to address it. OHCS is committed to making the plan responsive to the needs Oregonians.
To kick off the Statewide Housing Plan development, OHCS leaders are visiting communities around Oregon to talk to local residents about the housing problems and solutions in their community.
This is a huge opportunity to show OHCS that the housing needs of people with IDD must be prioritized in the Statewide Housing Plan.
If you attend an OHCS meeting in your area, you may want to highlight a few talking points at the start of this bulletin when you tell your story. Remember that you will only have a few minutes to tell your story. Consider using the following format:
- Your name and where you live
- Everyone needs opportunities in housing to succeed in their life and community
- If you have affordable housing, tell what your life is like now that you have affordable housing. What was it like before you got your housing? If DD Services helps you to be successful at staying in a place you like, explain how DD Services helps.
- If you don't have affordable housing, what your life is like? Is it easy for you to have a job, friends and be a member of your community without housing?