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Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.

- Frances Moore Lappé

CHANCE

Center for Housing and New Community Economics


This project represents past work of the UNH Institute on Disability and is no longer active.

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 Center for Housing and New Community Economics

Center Description

The Center for Housing and New Community Economics (CHANCE) was established in March of 2001. CHANCE's mission was to improve and increase access to integrated, affordable, and accessible housing coordinated with, but separate from, personal assistance and supportive services. CHANCE's purpose was to offer alternatives to approaches that segregate, congregate, and control people with disabilities. The IOD worked in partnership with ADAPT in all aspects of the Center. ADAPT is a national organization that focuses on promoting services in the community for people with disabilities.

The development of community housing and services for people with disabilities has been a major national policy direction for the past 20 years. Unfortunately, the administrative structures supporting community services typically promote congregate and agency controlled approaches to housing and personal assistance services. While the number of people living in institutions and large facilities has decreased, the vast majority of individuals residing "in the community" live in residences owned and controlled by someone else. Housing and personal assistance services are dictated far more often by government and agency preferences than by the needs and desires of persons with disabilities. Current approaches have not assured that people with disabilities are afforded control over, or even a voice in, the most basic decisions regarding where they live, with whom they live, the nature of the assistance they receive, and how they spend their time.

ADAPT and the IOD collaborated with a broad coalition of people and organizations concerned with housing, economics, personal assistance services, and advocacy. The coalition included people with disabilities and their families, as well as people from federal, state, and local agencies. Collaboration between the private and public sectors was also encouraged and facilitated.

CHANCE's primary efforts are focused on two major initiatives:

1) The Community Living Exchange Collaborative is a three-year grant funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to provide technical assistance with issues relating to system change. On September 28, 2001, CMS awarded approximately $64 million in grants to 37 states and one territory for "Systems Changes for Community Living." In partnership with their disability and aging communities, grantees receiving the awards will design and implement improvements in community long-term support systems. The "Systems Changes for Community Living" funds are awarded in four categories, including grants for: (1) Real Choice Systems Change, (2) Community-Integrated Personal Assistance Services and Supports, (3) Nursing Facility Transitions, and (4) a National Technical Assistance Exchange for Community Living. 

The Collaborative Exchange Grant was jointly awarded to The Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) in Texas and The Rutgers Center for State Health Policy in New Jersey. CHANCE will partner with ILRU to manage its activities on the Exchange Collaborative, with a major focus on working with states and other groups to implement Nursing Facility Transition grants. CHANCE will also work with grantees and others on systems change as it relates to transition and housing issues.

2) The National Home of Your Own Alliance. In 1993, through a five-year cooperative agreement with the Institute on Disability (IOD), the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) created a technical assistance center, the National Home of Your Own Alliance (Alliance). The rationale for promoting home ownership was based on the belief that non-traditional income streams and federal, state, and local subsidies could be structured and blended to support home ownership for people historically excluded from the housing market. Since 1998, the IOD has continued to maintain the national clearinghouse through an updated website, a toll-free information and referral line, and responses to requests for information and publications through electronic and non-electronic mail.

CHANCE:

  • Ensures that people with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to direct all aspects of their lives, including where they live, how they receive their services and supports, and planning for their economic well being;
  • Rejects mandatory links of housing and personal assistance;
  • Improves access to integrated, affordable, and accessible housing coordinated with, but separate from, personal assistance and supportive services;
  • Works toward and advocate for systems change at the local, state, and federal levels and the collaboration of the public and private sectors;
  • Encourages the collaboration of the public and private sectors; and
  • Offers progressive alternatives to approaches that segregate, congregate, and control people with disabilities.