West Virginia Assistive Technology System

A Guide To Housing in West Virginia

cover of print booklet

Access to affordable, accessible and integrated housing has been identified as one of the primary barriers faced by persons with disabilities in West Virginia. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, long term care services must be made available within a community setting, making it possible for individuals who need supports to live outside of institutions. However, the lack of appropriate housing in the state has become a major difficulty to successfully moving someone from an institution to their home or other community living option.

With funding from the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council, the Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living developed a partnership to study housing issues. Key partners were the Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) at West Virginia University and the Community Living Initiatives Corporation, (CLIC). Stakeholders included consumers who need housing, those who provide funding for building homes or rental units, bankers who supply mortgage loans, insurance agencies that provide home and renters' insurance and social service agencies that assist consumers to live within their communities of choice.

Study results determined that housing was a much bigger issue than just the availability or lack of desirable housing. Access to housing is influenced by much more than personal preference. It is influenced by credit history, income, social attitudes, accessibility features, land costs, availability of funding for lending agencies, and the list goes on and on. Housing is a very complicated issue.

By no means should this resource guide be viewed as anything more than a guide to assist the consumer in making informed choices in regard to their housing needs. It is intended to assist individuals in understanding the complicated maze of systems that must be navigated to successfully own or rent a home or apartment. Many sections in this guide only provide highlights of needed information but do direct the reader where to go to find more specific or complete information. A glossary is included to help the reader understand any terms they may come across in the various sections.

For more information on housing choice in WV, please contact the Northern WV Center for Independent Living at 304-296-6091.

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