Types of Housing

OPWDD provides supports for you to live at home or in a home in your community so you can be as independent as possible.

Depending upon your needs, you could:

  • Live with your family in your family home with the right supports, such as respite and community habilitation.
  • Live independently with assistance, in your own apartment or house. You can also have a live-in caregiver. Housing subsidies are available to help you manage the costs of your home or apartment.
  • Paid Neighbor provides help to you when you need it, for certain tasks or dealing with problems. They are "on-call" to help you.
  • Family Care is living with another family, participating in all the things that families do.
  • In some circumstances, depending upon your level of need, you may need to live in a group home with other people with developmental disabilities.


Independent Living

OPWDD supports people to live as independently in the community as possible by helping with housing costs. This help comes in the form of a housing subsidy. If you ask for a housing subsidy, the amount of your housing subsidy will be decided using a formula that takes into account the county you live in, the number of people who will be living in your home, and the number of bedrooms in your home. You are expected to contribute a percentage of your income towards your housing costs. 

If you live by yourself in an apartment or home, you can receive supports and services to help you manage your home and daily activities. You can participate in paid work, day programs, community habilitation or volunteer and learn how to manage alone in the community.

You can also live with an unrelated person of your choosing called a live-in caregiver who can help you in your daily life and make sure you are safe and well while receiving room and board. 

A "paid neighbor" can help you when you need assistance with a particular task. They are "on-call" to help you once in a while because of a problem or task you can't manage on your own.

If your home is not set up to meet your needs, you can receive supports for environmental modifications or e-mods. These can be physical changes made to your home that can help you live safely in your home and get out into the community, such as a wheelchair ramp.


Family Care

Family Care fosters a stable and caring home environment. This may be a good housing option for you if you enjoy living in a family home. Family Care homes are certified by OPWDD and the family care provider makes sure you have the help you need to be safe and active. Providers can be single or married, own or rent their home.

Providers come from every religious, ethnic and social background. They are reimbursed for your room and board, mileage and other expenses. Various background checks are performed on adults in the home and family care providers receive training in a range of subjects. All homes undergo a complete safety inspection.

Group Home

Living with a small group of people in a certified house operated by OPWDD or one of our provider agencies can provide you with extra support if needed while continuing to provide you with the opportunity for community living. Staff at the home will help meet your needs and the needs of other people living in the home. 


Move to a Home in the Community

If you live in an institutional setting and are interested in moving into a smaller home in the community, you may be able to do so with the help of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. The Money Follows the Person program assists and supports people who want to leave institutional care and receive services in their homes and communities. See personal stories of people who have made the switch to community living.

The Money Follows the Person program is offered through the Open Doors program which provides transition assistance and peer support to people who currently live in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF), hospitals and nursing homes, and who want to move to a community setting. The Open Doors program is operated by New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) through a contract with NYS Department of Health (DOH). To take part in the Money Follows the Person program, you must enroll in Care Coordination.  Referrals for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program can be made by many sources, such as you, your family members or advocates, your providers of services, OPWDD, or other community resources.  

Who Can Participate in the MFP Program?
Adults age 18 years or older who have:

  • Medicaid for at least one day before community transition;
  • Lived in a nursing home, hospital, or intermediate care facility for at least 60 days prior to transition;
  • Needs that can be met in the community with care coordination which may include HCBS services;
  • Moved to a community residence (see below);
  • A developmental and/or intellectual disability and meet ICF/IID (formerly ICF/MR) level of care;
  • Voluntarily consented to participate in the program.

What qualifies as an MFP community residence?

  • A community residence, is defined as:
  • A home owned or leased by you or a family member; or
  • An apartment with your own lease, which includes living, sleeping, bathing, and cooking areas which you or your family control; or
  • A community–based residence in which no more than 4 unrelated people reside.

For additional Money Follows the Person referral information please speak with your Care Manager or contact OPWDD.

Housing Brochure