Point Rider has toured and met with the founders and directors of more than 100 other settings around the US, and we get to know more projects every week. We have in-depth knowledge of their design, innovations, solutions, and processes that we can draw from when helping you to realize your housing vision.
Taxonomy of Model Types
There are several hundred housing settings for adults with IDD around the US. We know that families and adults with IDD search for appropriate housing options in predominantly three ways:
Services & Supports (appropriate for serving the needs and desires of my son or daughter)
Geography (close to home or within a specific state)
Setting type (small, medium, large, urban, suburban, rural, disability-specific or neurodiverse, waiver-funded or private pay, affordable or premium-priced, etc)
The person-centered plan for an adult with IDD should include preferences for the type of setting in which the individual wants to live, and provide protections for that person’s right to make an informed choice about any setting they desire.
Point Rider has organized our Communities section by Setting Type organized by a Taxonomy of Model Types we believe categorizes many of the existing and emerging settings we know about:
Shared Home Neighborhoods
Farms and Ranches
Mixed-Use Campuses (Live, Work, Play, Learn, Worship, Thrive)
Under each category, we have listed settings by State. Check back often to see new settings and enhanced information.
Point Rider uses the term “shared homes” versus “group homes” because since the 1970s and particularly in the last few years, families and organizations have been developing alternative approaches to traditional community-based homes shared by up to six unrelated adults with disabilities. The new models (examples included below) emphasize individual autonomy, personal growth, community integration, quality of life, personal choice, and affordability.
CASS Housing (Fort Wayne, IN) - There are four different models at this time for the Core Members (residents). There is an on-site or live-in support person (Steward) in each home whose role is different depending on the model. The Steward is a person or couple chosen by the families who already has a vested interest in the Core Members. For details on model types, supports, and the CASS Housing philosophy, check out their new iBook (Apple users only) - https://books.apple.com/us/book/cass-housing/id1475272435 - or a PDF version for PC/Android - http://dev.brianrowe.com/cass_housing/CASS_Housing.pdf.
Airmount Woods (Ramsey, NJ) - Airmount Woods is designed specifically to address the shortage of residential housing opportunities for individuals with autism with two state of the art homes for 8 young adults. All units will be handicap accessible and contain features to assist in the daily lifestyle of persons with autism including accommodation for 24/7 staffing, durable finishes and the latest in green technologies. The 1.3 acre site is a bucolic setting that will provide passive recreational space as well as added safety and security. Funding for the project combines investments from the NJHMFA Special Needs Trust, the Borough of Ramsey Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the Bergen County Division of Community Development HOME and CDBG programs. [press release]
Juniper Hill Farms (Southeastern Pennsylvania) - Juniper Hill Farms is a model of independent living for adults on the autism spectrum. We are not a group home. We are not a ‘facility’. We are just guys renting in the community, like everyone else. We live on a small farm in southeastern Pennsylvania with lots of animals, and fields of sunflowers in the summer. Three of us rent a small three bedroom rancher, and we have support people who come several times a week to help us out with our farm chores as well as everyday things that come up. In another house on the same lane live three more of us, and we have support people that come in most days as well. In this second house, we also have someone who lives with us to make sure we are safe overnight, to make sure things happen that need to, and to help everyone get along. [Oct. 30, 2013 blog post – “Effortless Inclusion…”]
Community for Permanent Supported Housing (Dallas, TX) - CPSH creates housing options with the North Texas community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and social challenges regardless of IQ, and educational services for these adults and their families to encourage independent living.
Sunridge Ranch/Trellis Center (Ellensburg, WA) - Sunridge Ranch is a 5 bedroom ranch house overlooking a valley in central Washington State, with the Trellis Center located on the ground floor. Sunridge Ranch is structured financially with 2 LLCs, one that enables families to purchase a share of the residence, and the second for funding for expenses to operate and maintain the residence and pay for houseparents.
SHARED Home NEIGHBORHOODS
Families and nonprofits are expanding the “shared home” model by creating neighborhoods comprised of several (typically 4-10) shared homes that typically also include amenities such as microenterprise centers, multipurpose recreational facilities, animal husbandry, pools, clubhouses, teaching kitchens, classrooms, greenhouses, and more.
Sweetwater Spectrum (Sonoma, CA) - Opened in 2013. The site is 2.79 acres and is located 4 blocks west of the city’s downtown plaza, encouraging local community integration. The campus includes: 1) four 4-bedroom homes for sixteen participants, with the ability for future expansion; 2) a community center – a single-level 2,300 square foot, common house – integrates a community space, kitchen, exercise studio, media room, and a library; 3) a 1.25 acre organic farm with an energy-efficient greenhouse that grows and distributes microgreens to local and bay area restaurants year-round; and, 4) an outdoor pool and 2 hot tubs. Enrichment programs and opportunities are provided on site, and coordinated off-site. [New York Times article]
Hannah and Friends (South Bend, IN) - Hannah & Friends Neighborhood is located on a 40 acre residential community and provides much needed affordable and accessible housing and program services for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Cape Cod Village (under construction; Orleans, MA) - This will be built on a four acre parcel of land that is bordered by affordable housing, condominiums and retail businesses. Within walking distance of the town center, the property also abuts the Cape Cod Rail Trail for bike riding and walking. Located on the site will be housing for 15 adults with autism and a Community Resource Center. [Click to see concept site plan]
Benjamin’s Hope (Holland, MI) - Benjamin's Hope is a farmstead community based on founder Krista Mason’s “Live, Learn, Play, Worship” model, designed to connect adults with developmental and intellectual differences to the larger West Michigan community. It is a debt-free 501(c)(3) organization that not only offers a thriving semi-independent living neighborhood cherished as home by 30 adults with pronounced developmental differences, but also a community for Christ followers of all abilities, now 400 members strong.
Bancroft Flicker Residences (Voorhees, NJ) - Aging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have different needs, interests and activity level, all of which are met at the Judith B. Flicker Residences at Bancroft. The Flicker program features six group homes surrounding a spacious central courtyard linked by a sunny indoor walkway. Each resident has their own private bedroom and bathroom within walking distance to communal space for recreational and social activities and a structured day program.
29 Acres (under construction; Denton, TX) - The 29 Acres supported living community for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities is most like a co-housing model. It is located on 29 acres of gently-rolling heavily-wooded property just north of Dallas. The autism specific design of the housing community is research-based and will feature safety and security, including 24/7 supervision and a state-of-the-art technology platform to enhance safety and further independence. 29 Acres has 2 main components to its programming: Enrich 29 and the 29 Acres Transition Academy. All programming will be customized and evidence-based allowing for success, personal growth and greater independence.
New Danville (Willis, TX) - New Danville provides a variety of housing at affordable rental rates. Our neighborhood, Meadowbrook, consists of a mixture of 4-bedroom homes and 1 and 2-bedroom duplexes. Housing is developed through government grants and private donations. Monthly rent includes all utilities, satellite television, maintenance, and an on-site residential advisor. Residential support services can be contracted through a third-party provider.
My Possibilities (under construction; Garland, TX) - This universally-designed community with ease-of-access for all will include approximately 300 homes, a community center, a pool, green space, walking trails, and other amenities. My Possibilities will own some of the homes, and the others will be open for sale to the general public. Of the 178-acres, 35 percent will remain green, or open space, or roughly 80-acres for parks, trails, Texas wildlife, and a community center. The homes within the community that are open to the public for sale/rent allow the usage of Home and Community Based Services (HCS) funds. My Possibilities will offer a private pay residential model, operated within the homes the organization owns. [FAQ] [Site Plan]
A new generation of apartment buildings designed for adults with IDD have opened recently with an emphasis on bundling rent, meals, services, and supports into a “one price for everything” model running as much as $4,000 per month. The models generally oriented toward adults with IDD who have less direct support needs, can independently manage many of their daily living responsibilities including medications, and can effectively communicate their needs and wants. There also are new apartment buildings constructed using, in part, Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that operate primarily as landlords and require residents to obtain their services separately. These settings may cap the percentage of units for adults with IDD from 25 to 80 percent depending on restrictions associated with funding.
FirstPlace AZ (Phoenix, AZ) - First Place® offers supportive housing and a residential transition program for individuals with autism and for other neuro-diverse populations, as well as sites for education, training and creative inspiration. 55 apartments (studio, one-, two- and four- bedroom units) where residents have a suite of supports and amenities in the heart of Phoenix. The two-year, tuition-based First Place Transition Academy, operated by the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, for 32 participants annually who are transitioning to more independent living and who will reside at First Place in year one, off-site in year two.
Treasure House (Phoenix, AZ) - Treasure House is a unique active living community for young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Residents enjoy their own furnished one-bedroom apartment with access to family style amenities such as a kitchen, lounge, game room, patio and outdoor activities. The goal is to provide these young adults with an accessible, safe living environment that will support them as they grow, develop and thrive.
Casa de Amma (San Juan Capistrano, CA) - A long-term independent apartment community. Our supported living environment provides every opportunity for lifelong learning and achieving personal potential. We offer services to enhance the overall independence of residents while maintaining the structure necessary to promote safety, health and well-being.
Villa de Vida (Poway, CA) - A permanent supportive and affordable housing community designed to serve the independent housing needs of persons with developmental disabilities. Currently under construction, it will offer 51 single-occupancy and 3 double-occupancy apartments. Villa de Vida Apartments are being developed as a limited partnership between Villa de Vida, Inc. and Mercy Housing California.
Cornerstone Creek (Golden Valley, MN) - State of the art 45-unit affordable apartment building that provides independent, safe and secure housing, and an abundance of social, educational, recreational, and spiritual opportunities. Amenities include a fully equipped fitness studio, tenant lounges, a Cornerstone Café Multi-Purpose Room with fireplace, living rooms with large screen TVs and game tables throughout the building. The outdoor area offers a park-like setting with landscaped courtyard, walking paths, a community garden and gazebo.
St. Louis Life (O’Fallon, MO) - St. Louis Life is a community-based, residential program for adults with developmental disabilities. Residents work and live in the community and are allowed to make decisions that affect all aspects of their lives. This independent living program offers 16 single-bedroom apartments, job placement/coaching, social, educational and recreational activities, and many other support services.
David Wright Apartments (Heidelberg, PA) - The newly constructed building includes 42 one and two bedroom units, half with a preference for clients on the autism spectrum. The first floor has a community room for movie nights and other events, a quiet lounge, an exercise room and offices for NHS Human Services, which will have employees working there 25 to 40 hours per week to help tenants.
Trinity House (Bloomsburg, PA) - Trinity House is a former downtown church converted into apartments for 19 adults and designed especially for people with disabilities where they can live and “hang out” with their friends. Bloomsburg University students are housed in buildings next to the house, and are available for assistance to individuals who may need help. Opened May 2010.
The Faison Residence (Richmond, VA) - The Residence, announced in 2013, features 45 apartments, as well as a community room and recreational facilities for social activities. Approximately a third of the apartments are set aside for adult tenants with autism and other developmental disabilities who are generally independent but need occasional assistance and supervision. The remaining apartments are rented to the public, making it a truly integrated community with neighbors looking out for neighbors. The apartments also feature assistive and security technology – all embedded into the fabric of this amazing residential community. The Faison Residence allows individuals to live as independently as possible with supportive in-home services.
Farmsteads and Ranches
Agriculture-based programming and environments are popular in a range of supportive residential settings for the occupational and social experiences they provide, especially in some of the shared home neighborhoods (e.g. Benjamin’s Hope, Sweetwater Spectrum, 29 Acres). In the Point Rider taxonomy we include communities under this heading if their primary design and programming is farm-based or ranch-based. Farming may include greenhouses or open fields. Ranching may include animal husbandry or management of cows, horses, goats, pigs, or llamas.
Rainbow Acres (Camp Verde, AZ) - Rainbow Acres, founded in 1974, is a Christian community that offers private-pay assisted living with a wide variety of programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Ranchers live, work and socialize with their peers on the ranch, and are also important members in the local community, where many Ranchers work, volunteer, take classes and participate in activities. Since 2001, Rainbow Acres’ campus has expanded from 13 to 50 acres, with many new buildings that benefit the Ranchers, including 12 modern homes that each accommodate 10 residents; two four-plex apartment buildings for more independent residents; the Palmer Community Center for dining, events and everyday activities; two full-scale greenhouses for growing vegetables; and a barn for the horses and other animals.
Erik’s Ranch & Retreats (Edina, MN & Paradise Valley, MT) - Created beginning in 2008 by Kathryn Nordberg, Erik’s Ranch and Retreats offers a first-of-its kind living, working and social environment for young adults with autism. Not only are both locations home to young adults with autism, but what sets Erik’s Ranch & Retreats apart is that these young adults operate the boutique-style guest accommodations at our two destination locations: the Retreat in Edina, Minn., and Erik’s Ranch, in Paradise Valley, Mont.
Farmsteads of New England (Hillsborough, NH) - Farmsteads of New England empowers individuals who have Autism, Developmental Disabilities, and others with varying abilities to pursue their chosen path to live a meaningful and satisfying life by providing transitional and long-term supports and services in a rural environment that fosters growth, interdependence and self-confidence. It is home to 21 adults living in one-bedroom apartments clustered together on the farmstead with common areas, plus eight on-site staff.
Bittersweet Farms (Whitehouse, OH) - The first farm model for adults with autism was established at Somerset Court in England in 1974. Bittersweet Farms was the first of its kind in the United States. Located on 80 acres in northwest Ohio, Bittersweet is a farm setting that offers rich, varied, and abundant opportunities for self-paced, distraction-free activities including: agriculture (including planting and harvesting); horticulture (including greenhouse operations); fencing & landscaping, construction, repair & maintenance; produce collection & marketing; animal feeding & care; and, craft-making & woodworking.
Safe Haven Farms (Middletown, OH) - Safe Haven Farms is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization offering residential, day and community services for adults with developmental disabilities. It is located on 60 acres in Madison Township, Butler County, Ohio. The setting includes indoor and outdoor riding arenas and a therapeutic equestrian program. The adjacent residential setting is four 4-bedroom homes.
Cornerstone Ranch (McKinney, TX) - Located on 42 acres just outside of McKinney, Texas, Cornerstone’s 10,000-square-foot residential home comfortably accommodates seven adults with disabilities residentially, and two highly integrated care giving families. The activity center houses all of its day program and enrichment activities, providing a place for its Ranchers to grow and the community to gather. The leadership plans to grow Cornerstone Ranch into a sprawling Christian community for 100-plus residents.
Down Home Ranch (Elgin, TX) - Down Home Ranch is a 410-acre working farm and ranch that is home to 40 adults with intellectual disabilities. It was founded in 1989 by Jerry and Judy Horton, parents of a young daughter born with Down syndrome. The Ranch was inspired by the writings and work of Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen, and Rudolf Steiner and driven by the lack of resources available to adults with intellectual disabilities. It includes a range of housing types including tiny houses, a social microenterprise, a day program, and Ranch Camp. Jerry helped create two housing advocacy organizations, the Coalition for Community Choice and Together for Choice. Today he and Judy continue their work to better the lives of adults with IDD through their new nonprofit, Point Rider, Inc.
Mixed-Use Campuses (Live, work, play, learn, worship)
Many of the settings in this category are created to respond to a multitude of needs. The term “live, work” play” is often associated with age-restricted communities for typical adults, but has found its way into communities serving the needs of adults with IDD. These campuses tend to be larger in size (20-500 acres), provide residences to more residents (100-600 adults), and provide an intentional array of residential, meaningful employment, and social-recreational options.
Arc Village Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL) - An affordable, independent living neighborhood opened in 2016 designed to maximize community inclusion for adults with IDD. It is located within eight miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches and 14 miles from the Jacksonville urban core and is surrounded by suburban leisure facilities, schools, libraries and a bustling commercial corridor. It has 97 one- and two-bedroom units for up to 121 residents. They accept private pay and are a Medicaid HCBS waiver-eligible setting. It was constructed utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), donations, and other Florida funds.
The Villages at Noah’s Landing (Lakeland, FL) - The Villages at Noah’s Landing opened in mid 2016 with a mix of one, two, three, and four-bedroom shared apartments. Each resident enjoys the privacy of their own bedroom and bathroom . The master plan emphasizes sustainability and harmony with nature. Residents can choose to enjoy a variety of rewarding lifestyle offerings, including education, arts, a training center, daily activities, an accessible pool, walking trails, and an optional dining room. Rents at The Villages at Noah’s Landing are determined by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program guidelines and generally range from $265 to $568 per month for each resident (including utilities), depending on the unit selected and the individual’s income. [Brochure]
Promise in Brevard (West Melbourne, FL) - Provides affordable, independent housing in one, two, three, and four-bedroom shared apartments for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities utilizing public and private partnerships. Located on 39 acres, adjacent to the Hammock Landing Shopping Plaza, Promise is home to 124 adults with special needs, ranging in age from 19 to 60. Rent is calculated on a sliding scale based on the resident’s total income. The Promise concept from the floor plans to amenities was developed with the help of a group of young individuals, known as “The Dream Team.” It was constructed utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), donations, and other Florida funds and opened in 2016.
Annandale Village (Suwanee, GA) - Founded in 1969, Annandale Village is dedicated solely to providing progressive life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries so they can maximize their abilities and maintain their independence in the least restrictive environment. It is located on 55 acres about 30 miles north of Atlanta. The campus features ten residences, including two newly-constructed centers for assisted living, and the D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing. In addition, the campus comprises outdoor walking trails and recreational facilities, social and event centers, a health clinic, dining facilities, the Corley-Holland chapel, and the Patricia M. Brown Center for Programs, a 25,000 square foot facility with a full-sized gymnasium, indoor pool, game room, vocational workshop, art gallery, computer lab, educational classrooms, and multi-purpose meeting rooms.
Lambs Farm (Libertyville, IL) - Lambs Farm serves approximately 250 adults with IDD through its residential, employment, and social options. It offers residential options both on and off campus including campus group homes, the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Apartment Building, and Green-Field intermediate care facility. Supported employment programs meet the staffing needs of local businesses by providing an enclave of two-to-eight workers along with a Lambs Farm job coach. Participants at Lambs Industries, located near the Lambs Farm campus, undertake subcontract jobs such as packaging and assembly.
Misericordia (Chicago, IL) - The mission of Misericordia Heart of Mercy is to support children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who choose our community by providing the highest quality residential, training, and employment services. We provide the full continuum of care designed to meet each person’s changing needs and maximize his or her independence, self-determination, interpersonal relationships, and engagement in the community. Misericordia serves more than 600 children adults from its 30-acre campus in Chicago and through neighborhood homes. It operates the Hearts & Flour Bakery, The Sweet Shoppe, and will soon open Our Daily Bread, a drive-thru bakery.
Baddour Center (Senatobia, MS) - Provides a model residential community for 150 adults with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities in an environment that promotes maximum growth intellectually, spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally and vocationally. The Baddour Center’s residential community consists of 14 group homes and 4 apartment units. Residential options range from supervised and transitional group home living to a more independent, on-campus apartment living arrangement. The campus also includes on-site medical, on-site businesses for employment, and an enrichment center.
Pathfinder Village (Edmeston, NY) - An internationally renowned open-access neighborhood where individuals with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities make lasting friendships, learn about community, and gain independence. It is a 300-acre campus with 14 residential homes, a farm and farmhouse, state-of-the-art community health center, youth soccer fields, and community hiking trails, chapel, cafe, village inn, research/education center, produce market and agriculture center, an adult day-treatment program operated by Otsego ARC, two off-site residences and two off-site day programs.
Ken Anderson Alliance (under development; Cincinnati, OH) - KAA is creating "live, work, play" opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. In November 2017, it launched PLAY, small group community outings with staff and volunteer supports. In 2018 it launched WORK - real, paid, integrated employment opportunities through urban agriculture, microenterprises, and community partners, augmented with vocational workshops. The LIVE plan is to build by 2022 an innovative, integrated residential community that provides permanent supportive, affordable housing for a neurodiverse blend of adults with and without developmental disabilities.
Brookwood Community (Brookshire, TX) - Located 40 miles west of downtown Houston, it is a 475-acre private-pay only residential facility and vocational program for adults with disabilities started in 1985 that provides an educational environment that creates meaningful jobs. The campus consists of eight group homes, two single-family staff homes, a residential Inn, health and dental clinic, Worship Center, enterprise building, activities and administration building, 47 greenhouses, Gift and Garden Center, and the Café at Brookwood. Programs serve 110 resident adults, plus another 80 nonresident adults in their day program.
Daymark Living (Waxahachie, TX) - One of the newest settings in the US opened in February 2019, it is a live, play, thrive inclusive community that eventually will be home to 202 residents. It is 28 cottages that contain 48 two-bedroom, 22 three-bedroom, and 10 four-bedroom units. Each resident has their own private bedroom and bathroom. The campus also includes a clubhouse with dining room, resort-style pools; a fitness center; and, an educational center.
Vanguard Landing (under development; Virginia Beach, VA) - Vanguard Landing will be a safe, intentional, interactive and inclusive community where persons with intellectual and developmental differences can thrive and achieve their life’s full potential. It will provide residential, pre-vocational, employment and recreational opportunities for adults. Vanguard Landing will offer at least three different living arrangements: five bedroom homes, and one bedroom and two bedroom one-story row houses.