Housing Models

Housing Models

The Family Home

Adults with special needs remain at home and are cared for by family members.  A government program called IHSS (in home support services) can offer financial support to the family members providing care if protective supervision is necessary.  This is the most cost effective model and also provides close proximity of supervision by parents.  The con is aging parents keeping up with the physical rigors of care as well as questions regarding arrangements after parental care is no longer an option.  

Podcast & notes on the Family Home Model


Community Care Facility

Non - profit or for profit operated homes with 4-6 bedrooms are shared with special needs adults and others who take on the role of caretaker.  Most Community Care Facilities are under government oversight and levels of support vary depending on the organization. Residents typically attend day programs separate from the Community Care Facility.  

Podcast & notes on the Group Home Model

Rentals and Co-Ops

For adults who do not require continuous supervision, support is set up via an agency to visit the residence and assist as needed.  Special needs adults may share a residence with others that is owned by a group of parents, non-profit, or rental company.  

 Podcast & notes on Independent Apartment Communities

Campus Model

Intentional communities are owned and operated by an organization or an LLC (formed by a group of parents).  They have a campus feel resembling retirement communities or farmsteads.  For government funding reasons, day programs typically are run separately but can be on campus.  Depending on the community, funding for housing may or may not be private pay and can be quite expensive.  Intentional communities are increasing in popularity for good reason.  However, creating one is a huge undertaking requiring strong leadership and a committed team. The good news is many are trailblazing and very open to partnering with committed organizations to replicate successful programs.

Podcast & notes on the Campus Model.

Adult Foster Homes

Family homes are approved by government agencies to host up to six adults with mild to moderate special needs.  Social service agencies make frequent visits to the home to ensure adequate support is provided and the arrangement is a good fit.  

Podcast & notes on the Foster Home Model.

Related Content

Podcast #11: Housing Models Overview

Podcast #18: Five Insights on Special Needs Housing

Podcast #22&#23: Interview with Autism Housing Network 

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Podcast #5: Camp Cabins to Long Term Living Solutions