AFAM Housing Policy
Massachusetts is currently faced with a dramatic increase in the number of people with autism who are aging into adulthood. These adults are in urgent need of affordable housing options – a priority identified by the March 2013 Report of the Massachusetts Autism Commission.
AFAM’s member organizations have engaged in intense discussions over the past several months concerning the current lack of adequate housing for adults with autism. Debate has taken place regarding the housing settings and models most appropriate to respond to these urgent needs. These discussions have been energized by recently-adopted policies and regulations developed by governmental agencies, affecting various State and Federal funding streams earmarked for housing.
AFAM’s member organizations are in agreement that people with autism should have access to a variety of housing options, and be able to choose those that meet their personal need and preferences. These options (and necessary, associated supports) should be designed to foster health, happiness, safety and growth in the least restrictive environment possible to ensure the best possible person-centered outcomes for each individual. Recognizing that autism affects each individual in unique ways, it is AFAM’s position that an individualized approach to housing is appropriate.
AFAM’s advocacy will focus on ways to increase and improve the overall amount and variety of affordable housing options for adults with autism. Potential housing options may include those that are financed publicly, privately, or through ‘blended’ funding approaches, in order to maximize choices and provide for a spectrum of needs across the lifespan.
-----Adopted August 25, 2015