What is “Accessible Housing Austin!” and can they help me secure affordable living arrangements?
People with disabilities have special needs and requirements when considering rental of a house or apartment.
Some people have mobility issues and use a wheelchair so a home must have wide doorways and no stairs.
For others, lower countertops or special accommodations for a hearing or visual impairment may be needed. Location and affordability are also important. Being close to public transportation, medical facilities, shopping and other services are musts, as is finding a home a person receiving disability benefits can afford.
Accessible Housing Austin! is a nonprofit founded in 2005 by a group of advocates who recognized the critical need for affordable housing for people with disabilities.
Accessible Housing Austin! serves children and adults with a variety of physical and mental impairments. Its mission is “to provide affordable, accessible, integrated housing for low-income people with disabilities.” AHA! Believes “we all deserve to live in homes that are not only safe and decent but that allow us to exercise our rights to independence and dignity, that we can afford, and that allow our children and us to participate in our neighborhood.” The organization began with the donation of two houses and to date has served over forty individuals.
Homes managed by AHA! include these disability accessible features:
- Wide doorways
- Hardwood, tiled or laminate flooring
- Roll-under sinks
- Lowered counter-tops
- Levered door handles
- Roll-in showers where possible
- Smoke detectors for people with hearing and visual impairments
If you have been denied disability don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.
Rent is proportional to income and AHA! accepts vouchers such as Housing Choice for rental assistance.
In addition, the homes are energy efficient, making them even more affordable. Individuals and families must have incomes under 50% of Austin’s Median Family Income to be eligible for housing.
The income guidelines for 2018 are as follows:
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AHA! has no current vacancies, but with the help of several government agencies and non-profit organizations, early next year it will break ground on a new 27-unit apartment complex called Briarcliff that is expected to house between 35 and 60 individuals.
The land is owned by The Housing Authority of the City of Austin which will lease the property to Accessible Housing Austin!.
Units will have one or two bedrooms; half will be accessible and half will be adaptable.
“Accessible” housing meets the prescribed requirements for disability accessible housing. Although these requirements vary from state to state, they include items such as wide doors and spaces for wheelchairs, lower countertops, seats at bathing fixtures, grab bars, knee space under sinks and counters, levers and loop type handles on hardware and switches and controls that can be easily reached. “Adaptable” housing has all the features of an accessible unit, but allows for some features to be omitted if a person does not need them, or concealed until a person needs the feature. Adaptable units can look the same as other units or matched to an individual when it is occupied. Located about one mile north of the Mueller development and near two bus lines, Briarcliff will be close to jobs, grocery stores, medical facilities and other services. Accessible Housing Austin! intends to offer as many as six homes for extremely low-income people with mental and physical disabilities who are exiting institutions and youth with disabilities exiting foster care. The organization also plans to offer courses on money management in partnership with the Financial Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.
The waitlist for Briarcliff will open when construction begins.
AHA! only has homes with 2 or 3 bedrooms and gives priority to households needing the specific modifications a given available unit provides. To inquire about housing or request more information, call 512-640-7781 or email AHA! at: email@example.com.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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