In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. Housing is a big one for autistic adults.
Social media and online resources are inspiring parents to look beyond the status quo, said Desiree Kameka, director of the nonprofit Autism Housing Network, which maintains a list of U.S. residential opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It shows nearly 50 communities are being developed or are in the planning phase nationwide, including several that are parent-driven.
"All of a sudden, they start seeing other families and other communities have been successful," Kameka said. "It gives them hope and initiative that maybe they can make it a reality."
In 2018 alone, metro Phoenix saw two housing projects open.
Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife launched Treasure House, a residential community for young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Its first resident was their son, Zack. First Place-Phoenix, a 55-unit apartment complex for adults with autism was sparked by the founder looking for a place for her son.
The Luna Azul complex is comprised of 14 two- and three-bedroom homes with another 16 planned. Prices range from around $400,000 to more than $500,000. Anyone can move in, but there is an emphasis on inclusion of people with disabilities.