Victory: Community Based Housing of Choice for Illinois Disabled Adults

Some families in Illinois are celebrating tonight. It would be nice if a family member who lives in a group home could benefit from this decision and not have to live quite so far away… due to the extreme length of the waitlist for supportive group housing for disabled adults in Illinois, she was placed in a town several hours away from the rest of us. And maybe it wouldn’t be worth uprooting her now, but at least if it becomes necessary in the future, there may be more options for her and her immediate family.

State officials will begin drawing up plans to move 3,000 people with developmental and intellectual disabilities into community-based housing of their choice, as directed under a federal settlement approved Wednesday that allows for a six-year timetable.

The governor’s office praised the settlement, which will expand services to new residents on a 21,000-member waiting list — but officials offered no answers on how they expect to pay additional costs during Illinois’ fiscal crunch.

“The final cost will be determined by how many people elect community-based care,” said Januari Smith, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Department of Human Services, the defendants in the lawsuit.

“The funds will now follow the individuals, and over the long term, community-based care is less expensive,” said Smith, who said the average yearly cost of a community setting, such as an apartment or group home, is $32,000.

Funding was not the issue Wednesday, though, when U.S. District Judge James Holderman lauded the lawyers for reaching agreement, saying the consent decree holds “great significance” and was the result of fierce negotiation.

“I firmly believe that the state of Illinois, the citizens, have been well served by these efforts,” Holderman said, after hearing from two parents who support the settlement.

The goal is to bring Illinois into compliance with the 1990 federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that people with disabilities be allowed to live in the “most integrated setting” within their communities.

The key here for me is “within their communities.” Just sayin’.

via Illinois disabilities lawsuit settles housing issue –

Recent Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *