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Many Disabled Americans Are Unable to Afford Housing

Posted on Jun 08, 2013

Rent is high in Boston. In 2012, the average cost of an apartment in the Boston area was $1,796.  Even a studio costs well over $1,000. While Boston ranks fifth for the most expensive rental market in the U.S., finding affordable housing is difficult everywhere—especially if you are disabled.

A recent report from Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities compared federal government statistics on rent in cities across the United States with SSI payments. According to the authors of “Priced Out in 2012: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities,” a person receiving the average monthly SSI payment of $726 would need to use 104 percent of his income to pay the national average rent on a one-bedroom apartment, $758. This means that safe, accessible, and affordable housing is impossible for many of our nation’s disabled.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines housing as affordable when rent or mortgage payments account for no more than one-third of a person’s income. For a person receiving SSI, affordable housing would cost no more than $217 per month. According to the authors of the study, there is no place in the U.S. where a person relying on SSI can find affordable, safe housing. Many disabled Americans must rely on family, government assistance, and social service agencies to meet basic needs. More than two million disabled adults live in group rooming houses, nursing homes, homeless shelters, or with aging family members instead of living independently. If budget cuts reduce the amount of subsidized housing, growing numbers of disabled will be at risk for homelessness.

For more information on this, or for help with your disability claim, contact us today.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law