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Housing and Community Living

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As part of the transition from childhood to adult life, planning inevitably includes housing decisions. Finding and securing housing and residential supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) can be challenging for the individual and the family.

Autism Speaks is trying to make this overwhelming journey easier through a series of tools to guide you through the process of establishing residential services and supports for your loved one with autism. By giving you the tools you need to make housing choices, we hope to make this often complicated journey as simple and successful as possible.

The Housing and Community Living section of the Autism Speaks website contains several sections that will provide you with the information you need, help you search for housing options, and keep you informed of promising developments, resources, and news in housing and residential supports.

To view Autism Speaks position statement on housing and community living, click here.

Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit

A tool kit to assist individuals and families as they identify and secure appropriate residential supports and services. The purpose of this tool kit is to:

  • Provide an overview of housing options and the supports and services often needed by adults with autism.
  • Describe options for funding capital costs, operating costs and residential services and supports.
  • Create a structure to help families and, to the extent possible, an individual with autism, consider and plan for the types of residential services and supports needed.
  • Serve as a catalyst for expanding opportunities to meet the housing needs of people with autism.

Click here to read the Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit.

In the News! Bill Could Help Find New Homes for Autistic Adults in New Jersey
Featuring Leslie Long, Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks

New! Combating NIMBYism ("Not In My Back Yard") in your community!

NIMBYism is a term that is used to describe opposition from neighbors to the development or acquisition of a group home occupied by individuals with special needs.  People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD’s) who are planning to move into a group home are often directly targeted by NIMBYism. Click here to learn more.

Autism Speaks Announces Results of National Housing Survey!

Despite the extraordinary need for housing and support services, only 24% of caregivers reported that the individual is currently on a waiting list to receive these services. Just one in four caregivers is currently saving for the future housing needs of the individual. These statistics highlight the drastic need for funding for these families to help connect individuals with the housing and residential support services that will allow them to thrive as adults. The results from the survey clearly indicate there must be greater awareness and better education of families of individuals with autism regarding the steps to take at an early age to ensure access to housing and residential supports for when they reach adulthood. Click here to read the executive summary.

Catalog of Housing and Residential Services

This catalog allows you to see a full list of residential service providers in the Autism Speaks Resource Guide from around the country, and to search for housing options and residential support services by state.

Click here to search the catalog.

*Note: If there are any Residential Services you'd like included in our catalog, click here for the service submission form.

AGI Residential / Daily Living Online Course

Developed through a partnership of Autism Speaks and the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), the AGI Residential / Daily Living Online Course is now available via the Houlton Institute. This self-paced course provides best and evidence-based practices for those who support the daily-living needs of transition aged students, young adults and adults with autism and related disabilities.

Click here to learn more, or email to learn about enrollment and the limited number of scholarships available. Also available to school district transition programs and agencies!

Housing Resources

The Corporation for Supportive Housing
CSH is a national non-profit organization that helps communities create permanent housing with services to prevent and end homelessness.

Creative Housing Solutions LLC
Creative Housing Solutions provides consulting, technical support, planning and ownership advice, architectural support services, and education in support of the design of environments that support people with varying abilities, interests and lifestyles.

Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders
A collaborative study by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), the Arizona State University (ASU) Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family and the ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism
NARPAA is an organization that works to assure the availability of residential services and other supports for adults with autism throughout their lives.

Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism
AFAA is a national consortium of organizations working together, led by the vision of individuals with autism and their families, to promote a collaborative spirit and develop both public and private sector support that improve the lives of adults living with autism.

Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit
The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. The Tool Kit contains a Housing section with information and resources related to residential services and young adults and adults with autism.

The Disability Opportunity Fund
The Disability Opportunity Fund loans money to communities and organizations that are participating in the creation of affordable and accessible housing, schools and community centers for people with disabilities. The purpose of the DOF is to connect the disability market and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) by coordinating and streamlining the relationship between them, as well as government agencies and service providers. The DOF loans money to real estate developers, communities and organizations serving the disabilities market and to any group participating in the creation of access to housing, schools or any other projects for people with disabilities throughout the United States.

Hello Housing
We do more than develop affordable housing for underserved communities. We help transform lives. By bringing together a unique mix of partners and resources, we turn compelling ideas into meaningful solutions.

A National Review of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This Policy Research Brief summarizes the results of a national study on the status of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Published by the Research and Training Center on Community Living, Institute on Community Integration at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota.

Housing Options for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Bureau of Autism Services, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
In this report, the Bureau of Autism Services provides critical information on housing to a range of agencies and individuals. The core of the report is the description of 22 housing models. A typology of seven different housing settings was developed. These include: remaining at home, family living, renting an apartment or home, purchasing a home, shared housing, intentional communities and licensed facilities.

Housing Workbooks from  Autism Housing Pathways
Autism Housing Pathways has produced three workbooks designed to help individuals with developmental disabilities shape a housing vision. The first two workbooks are written at an 8th grade reading level and a 1st-2nd grade reading level, respectively. The third workbook is comprised of a social story/workbook, visuals to create posters with stickers, and a set of directions and a questionnaire for helpers. The workbooks touch on preferred activities, lifestyle and location, living skills, and being a good neighbor.

Foundation for Autism Support and Training: ARCHway to Independence
Provides consultation to families of transitioning teens and adults with ASD on issues related to community housing, living and lifespan planning.

Independent Living Resarch Utilization
ILRU Directory of Centers for Independent Living and Statewide Independent Living Councils.
NPI/ is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping people access affordable housing and supportive services.

ARCH - Federal Funding and Support Opportunities for Respite
This guide provides basic information about each of the federal programs that can provide respite funding or support.

Legal Guidelines, prepared for Autism Speaks by Goodwin Procter, LLP

Section 8 Made Simple - Special Edition: Using the Housing Choice Voucher Program to End Chronic Homelessness
Offers step-by-step guidance on finding and securing housing through the HCV program.

We would love to hear from you! If you have resources, stories or news articles related to housing and residential supports for individuals with autism, please submit them to

Click here for a list of the Autism Speaks Housing Committee Members.