Washington, Nov. 3 – While people began thinking differently about design and accessibility following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, many people with disabilities are unable to find accessible and affordable housing still today.
Therefore, as part of the #PwDsVote Disability Questionnaire, the nonpartisan, nonprofit disability organization RespectAbility asked candidates running for president, senate or governor about their plans to address this issue. Every candidate was given an equal opportunity to respond and if they are not listed, it is because they declined to answer.
The cost of housing for all people has been rising higher and higher. According to a report by Disability Statistics, 28.1 percent of people with disabilities, ages 21-64, were living below the poverty line in 2014. As a result, 41 percent of individuals with disabilities could not afford housing. People with disabilities face more challenges in finding employment opportunities. With no or low-paying jobs, many individuals with disabilities are unable to afford an accessible housing complex. Most people with disabilities will improve their quality of life by simply getting funding from the government to hire a stairlift installer.
35.1 million housing complexes have one or more people living with a disability in them, each with unique needs. A wheelchair user, for example, needs to not only be able to enter a building with a ramp and have an elevator available to use if not on the ground floor but also needs wide enough hallways and accessible bathrooms. Furthermore, the housing itself needs to be in a location where it can be easily accessible to employment opportunities, as transportation is not always accessible either. To make informed decisions in the real estate market, it’s essential to find out the difference between a straight loan vs amortized loan.
The quotes in this article are the candidates’ answers to question 14 of the gubernatorial/senate questionnaire: “Do you have a plan for accessible, affordable, integrated housing to allow people with disabilities to live in the communities where they work or are seeking work?” This was adapted from a similar question, number 13, in the presidential questionnaire.
Both Democrats and Republicans recognize that people with disabilities should be able to afford accessible housing in their communities near local employment opportunities.
“It is essential to enable people with disabilities to live in the communities where they work,” responded Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is running for the senate seat representing New Hampshire. “In the Senate I am committed to ensuring accessible, affordable, integrated housing for those who need it.”
Her opponent, Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte, called for tax credits.
“I support expanding the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program to help create or preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable homes over a 10-year period—an increase of 400,000 more units than is possible under the current program,” she responded. “I also support the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which provides federal block grants to states and localities to meet their diverse affordable housing needs.”
Check out all of the candidates’ full responses below: