Mattingly Edge Awarded $245,779 Grant
for Housing Solutions Project
Mattingly Edge is taking on the challenge of identifying current housing issues in Kentucky for people with disabilities and providing a road map for addressing those challenges. The Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities recently awarded the Louisville nonprofit nearly a quarter-million dollars to fund the first year of a five-year plan.
“Through the Housing Solutions Project we will examine the obstacles people with disabilities face in Kentucky when it comes to finding housing that is both affordable and accessible,” said Hope Leet Dittmeier, Executive Director, Mattingly Edge. “During this intensive process we will be figuring out what it will take to incentivize the housing industry to create more affordable and accessible housing. We will also create a working committee of volunteers that includes developers, architects, landlords, realtors, and others within the housing arena.”
The research and work will focus on creating typical housing options for people with disabilities that are integrated and desirable to the average valued citizen. The prevailing model in Kentucky pairs housing with support services, forcing many disabled Kentuckians to live in congregated and segregated living spaces. Historically, funding has flowed to organizations that own segregated housing rather than to individuals with disabilities themselves. The Housing Solutions Project seeks to provide a variety of solutions to this issue, including home-ownership, multi-family housing, co-housing with non-disabled peers, community land trusts, and tenancy.
“Our goal will be to demonstrate the viability of people with disabilities having their own tenancy with high quality supports that are not attached to the home in any way. This separation of housing and support is best practice and has already been implemented in other states, such as Illinois and Wisconsin. It provides the greatest amount of autonomy for the individuals we support. Along the way we will create a resource guide, a model, that can used by people with disabilities and their support system—family, friends, neighbors—to better navigate housing challenges and find viable solutions that will allow men and women with disabilities to live a more fulfilling life as part of the community rather than living separately in a more segregated setting,” Dittmeier added.
The Commonwealth Council on Development Disabilities is providing a $245,779 grant to fund the first year of the Housing Solutions Project. The funds are being used to support personnel and resource development for one year of the five-year project.
“Mattingly Edge is looking at the issues surrounding people with disabilities in an innovative way while trying to create more inclusive communities,” said Kellie McCain, Executive Director, CCDD. “The nonprofit is changing the conversation and talking about ways to ensure people with disabilities are living their fullest lives and taking part in our society. This speaks to the CCDD’s mission to advance the inclusion of Kentuckians in all facets of community life. We are excited about this research which will hopefully provide a path for others seeking a more independent, fulfilling life.”
As part of this project, Mattingly Edge will also test and implement systematic solutions and has pledged to positively change the lives of eight people within the next two years “as well as bring together the organizations and individuals necessary to significantly impact the current housing crisis for people with disabilities.”
If you are someone who can help impact or inform research through the Housing Solutions Project or would like to serve as a volunteer, please contact us at (502) 451-6200.