An Overview Of The National Housing Study

Who Is Involved?

This national survey is the result of a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The Arc of the United States.

When Did It Start?

The national survey and related small group activities were launched in Spring 2019, with the full report being released in January 2020.

What Is The Project?

A survey explored where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live, and what their experiences are in those settings.

Why Was It Created?

The Arc sought to better understand how people with I/DD and their families make decisions about where to live, outside of the family home.

Where Is The Impact?

Hundreds of people with IDD and their family members in the U.S. provided insight into decision-making about housing and community living.

How Does It Help The Field?

The research and report provides recommendations for providing choices, options, and opportunities involving housing and community living.

Inside The National Housing Study

CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, through a collaboration with The Arc of the United States, conducted a two-part mixed method study. This process involved a national online survey, as well as a series of in-person group activities in Illinois.

National Online Survey

The first part of this study included a national online survey of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and family members of people with IDD. The survey included both quantitative and qualitative items.

Group Activities

The second part of this study included in-person nominal group technique (NGT) sessions across Illinois. NGT includes structured brainstorming like a focus group, except it is more inclusive, accessible, and collaborative.

After The Study

Following the completion of the study, CQL and The Arc produced a full technical report, fact sheets, and a short video which not only describe the study, but, more importantly, describe key takeaways to improve outcomes in housing decision-making and identify solutions for strengthening community inclusion.

Key Findings

  • Most people with IDD and family members of people with IDD said that they had very little choice in where they lived
  • Family members of people with IDD often decided where the person with IDD would live; sometimes the person with IDD was consulted, but often they were not.
  • People with IDD cherished the time they had in, and with, their communities, and wanted more opportunities to integrate into their communities.
  • People with IDD wanted to contribute to the choices that impact their lives, such as where they live, who they live with, and how they spend their time.
  • People with IDD wanted opportunities to learn new skills, participate in tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and medication administration, and interact with friends and romantic partners.
  • People with IDD wanted independence and opportunities, a setting that is physically accessible, to see their friends whenever they want, to be treated with respect, and to have well paid and qualified support staff.
  • The majority of people with IDD and family members of people with IDD dreamt of people with IDD living in their own homes or apartments, as opposed to congregate care settings.

The National Housing Study Partners

This national survey is the result of a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The Arc of the United States.

The Arc

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with IDD and their families.

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The Arc

75.95% of people lived with between one and four other people with disabilities.

60.99% of people with IDD reported their only housing option is the current setting where they live.

80.25% of people with IDD reported they and/or their family member chose where to live.

Almost 90% of people with IDD wanted to live in their own home.

National Housing Study Video

The following video shares an overview of the national study on housing involving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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