Introduction and Background of our Organization
The Housing Alliance for People With Disabilities (HAPD) is a coalition of service providers for people with disabilities that came together in 2004 to develop a better understanding of the housing needs of persons with disabilities and age-related impairments and to develop housing opportunities specifically targeted for extremely-low to moderate-income people with disabilities of all ages and ethnicities.
HAPD consists of key personnel from: Alliance on Aging, Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL), Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA), and the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey. HAPD is a volunteer collaboration of organizations.
CHISPA will function as the fiscal agent for HAPD for the purposes of this funding request. A brief description of each agency is included below.
Alliance on Aging--the oldest and largest non-profit senior service agency in Monterey County. The Alliance programs provide information and assistance, peer support and counseling, Medicare and tax counseling, senior training and employment, and outreach.
CCCIL--Central Coast Center for Independent Living--has been serving individuals with disabilities in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito County since 1984. CCCIL provides independent living information and referral, advocacy, housing assistance, personal assistance service, peer support, independent living and skills training, community and systems advocacy and assistive technology.
CHISPA--Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association- CHISPA is the largest non-profit affordable housing developer in Monterey County and having created housing for over 7000 individuals recognizes the growing need for low-income housing in Monterey County particularly for individuals with disabilities.
Housing Authority of the County of Monterey - The Housing Authority is a public agency that provides rental assistance and develops and manages affordable housing throughout Monterey County.
In the fall of 2005, HAPD secured funding from the Community Foundation of Monterey County, Monterey County Resource Management Agency, the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, and the San Andreas Regional Center to conduct peer to peer surveys of the housing needs of over 400 people with disabilities in Monterey County. HAPD members worked with Applied Survey Research (ASR), a nonprofit social research organization to coordinate the administration of the survey and compile the results into the Housing Needs of People with Disabilities Assessment (“Assessment”). The findings and recommendations of he Assessment were presented to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, local jurisdictions and stakeholder organizations.
The Assessment concluded that people with disabilities in Monterey County need affordable housing with Universal Design features such as no-step entries, wider doors and grab bars. Additionally, they need disaster preparedness plans or kits to assist them in the event of a disaster.
In 2007, HAPD was invited to present our Assessment at the Housing California Conference as a model to be replicated by other housing groups throughout the State. HAPD members shared information about the process that we followed to conduct the survey, compile the results and publicize our findings and recommendations.
HAPD members conducted a series of meetings with the Director of the Monterey County Housing and Redevelopment Department to plan the implementation of the recommendations that were made in the Housing Needs Assessment. One of the outcomes of these discussions was a Universal Design Forum that brought together housing developers, builders and people with disabilities to educate them about the principles of Universal Design and to gather their input on the construction of a Universal Design Model Home in Salinas.
HAPD envisions a community that is accessible, inclusive and encourages independence for people with disabilities. The creation of affordable and accessible housing bridges divisions in our community by allowing people with disabilities to participate equally instead of being forced to live with family members or in institutions simply because the community cannot accommodate them.
The needs of people with disabilities are underserved in the current housing market since the majority of housing opportunities are prohibitively expensive and inaccessible. Housing is an integral part of the social safety net. HAPD improves the health, welfare and environment of our community by expanding housing options thus decreasing the reliance of people with disabilities on that safety net and thereby increasing its capacity.
In 2009, HAPD hired a Project Coordinator to assist in the implementation of the recommendations contained within the Assessment. HAPD has been involved in a number of important projects including initiating a Monterey County Accessible and Affordable Housing Resource list and amending local City and County Housing Elements to implement priorities for ELI households.
HAPD has also conducted a stakeholder meeting to discuss mission, vision and guiding principles while also increasing community awareness and support. In addition, HAPD completed a Strategic Planning session to revise existing priorities and timelines. HAPD continues to encourage development that offers accessible and affordable housing that incorporates Universal Design features and disaster preparedness.