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Housing: Starting the Journey

Will you be ready when it’s time for your son or daughter with a disability to move to a place of their own? The time to start planning is now! This Housing Project video gives you some groundwork from which to begin the journey.

Covid-19 Resources

  • Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Disability Services COVID-19 FAQ

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) answers to frequently asked questions by providers and lead agencies related to the COVID-19 virus and its effects on disability services.

  • MN DHS: Balancing Rights and Safety During COVID-19June 25, 2020

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) answers to frequently asked questions by providers and lead agencies related to the COVID-19 virus and its effects on disability services.

  • Guidance on upholding rights, person-centered practices, service suspension and service terminations during Minnesota’s peacetime emergency – May 18, 2020

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) affirms that people with disabilities who receive 245D-licensed residential services are valued members of their communities. While all people are experiencing restrictions on their rights during the peacetime emergency, people with disabilities may not have their rights restricted more than people without disabilities. People who live in licensed residential settings (“group homes”) retain all rights afforded to them under chapter 245D that are not directly affected by one of the governor’s orders.

  • Interim guidance on the prevention of COVID-19 for employees and residents of licensed group homes – May 27, 2020

    The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Department of Human Services (DHS) are working together to monitor and respond to the developing COVID-19 situation. Together, the agencies provide guidance for DHS-licensed residential service providers who deliver 245-D licensed services in a licensed community residential setting and for MDH-licensed Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF/DD).

  • Housing Link - COVID-19 Resources for Renters

    A collection of COVID-19 resources for renters including: Mediation Services, Suburban Hennepin County Rental Assistance, Olmsted County Temporary Rental Assistance, Unemployment Insurance, Emergency Assistance.

  • MN Housing and COVID-19

    Centralized location for all Minnesota housing updates and information related to COVID-19.

  • COVID Housing Rights Fact Sheet

    Legal Services State Support (State Support) is a project of the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition (MLSC), a group of seven legal aid programs that help low-income residents with a variety of legal matters. This website contains updated COVID-19 housing rights and related housing fact sheets, videos, and resource links.

  • HOME Line

    Provides free and low-cost legal, organizing, education, and advocacy services so that tenants throughout Minnesota can solve their own rental housing problems. We work to improve public and private policies relating to rental housing by involving affected tenants in the process.

  • Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

    The Attorney General’s Office welcomes complaints from citizens on a large variety of matters. Reports from citizens assist to:

    • identify potential violations of Minnesota law
    • identify new problems occurring in the marketplace
    • build lawsuits against companies who violate state laws
    • educate the public about emerging scams 

Housing Videos and Trainings

Video Series: “Home Is …”

This five part Housing Video Series called “Home Is…" features the voices of young adults with disabilities describing what “Home” means to them and what they have learned along the way. This series focuses on the multidimensional aspects of home - Home is not just a getting a “place” but getting “a life."


Olmstead Plan

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan for Housing

Persons with disabilities will choose where they live, with whom, and in what type of housing.

What does person-centered mean for me?

An introduction was created with the help of focus groups comprised of people with disabilities and the Disability Linkage Line®. It was created for people with disabilities and their families to help people with disabilities apply person-centered principles to their life. It also helps families and case managers learn and activate person-centered processes.

MN Department of Human Services Person-Centered, Informed Choice and Transition Protocol

Minnesota is driving toward fulfilling the vision of people with disabilities and older Minnesotans living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting. This document is produced by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to communicate expectations regarding person-centered practices with its lead agency partners: counties, tribes and health plans. The Department will work with lead agencies to implement this protocol across the long-term supports and services and mental health services systems.


Getting Started

Many parents of adolescents look forward to the time when their sons or daughters move out of the family home and into homes of their own. This housing guide is written to assist families so they can provide a leading role in planning for housing options for their child with a disability. Many housing options and supports for home living involve meeting eligibility criteria, timelines, waiting lists, and limited availability to obtain financial assistance. One way to help your son or daughter is to begin planning early.

Housing Options

Remember, it will take time, energy, and creativity to come up with a plan that fits your daughter or son’s individual needs. Housing options generally fall into the following categories: Family’s, friend’s, or relative’s home, Individualized housing options: home, townhome, condominium or apartment rental or ownership, Community Residential Settings: adult foster care, group homes, Institutions, Intermediate Care Facility for persons with developmental disabilities (ICF/DD), Nursing homes, Cooperative housing, Co-housing

Supports and Services

A wide variety of services and supports exist to enable a person with disabilities to live independently. The philosophy of supported living is that no matter where an individual lives, services and supports can be matched to their needs. They can vary in amount, frequency, and duration. In order to access these services, you must apply for case management through your county social services department. Case management is defined as “identifying the need for, seeking out, acquiring, authorizing, coordinating, and monitoring the delivery of services to, and protecting the rights of, persons with disabilities by an individual designated by the county board.” Case managers are sometimes called county social workers. Not everyone is eligible for case management and certain services do not require case management.

Funding Sources

Once parents and their son or daughter with a disability have visualized their home of choice, the next step is to explore how much can be spent on housing. It is essential to look at possible income, including Medicaid Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), work income, and family contributions. Administered by states, in Minnesota Medicaid is called Medical Assistance (MA). Creating a list of expenses is essential. There are no easy answers when it comes to obtaining payment for housing. Eligibility criteria for your daughter or son’s specific disability is a determining factor for most funding.

Housing Rights

Programs that are directly licensed under the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) must follow enforced state standards that have been adopted to protect the health, safety, rights, and well-being of children and vulnerable adults. Programs serving people with developmental disabilities are required to be licensed under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245A and the new Chapter 245D. 245D is the umbrella standard for many of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers.

Advocacy Tips

When your young adult with a disability graduates from high school, a transition program, or college, many aspects of their life will change. Outside the education system, your young adult will need to find new ways to receive services to support living, working, and playing in the “most integrated setting.” The most integrated setting is one in which individuals with disabilities spend time with those without disabilities as much as possible.