Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of the site?
The site was developed to assist people with developmental and other disabilities to acquire safe, affordable, quality, accessible residences across the state of Missouri.
2. What is meant by universal design?
Universal design is a set of principles to enable people with and without disabilities to have increased access to their environment including their homes. This site includes information on Universal Design and its benefits for individuals as well as builders.
3. What is HUD?
HUD is the acronym for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal agency that assists people, housing developers, and state and local government in the development of affordable housing. The HUD website contains a variety of information to assist all people, including those with disabilities, in understanding the process of renting or buying a home, finding someone to assist in the process, finding financial resources and other information to help the individual.
4. What is the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC)?
This commission is a state agency that assists with the development of affordable housing across Missouri. The commission receives funding from HUD and the Missouri state government to assist individuals, local communities and private developers in the acquisition of housing especially for those people with low incomes. MHDC's home page has a valuable link called The Affordable Home Locator which can assist you in finding low income rental housing.
5. I live in a rural Missouri. Is there any housing support for Missourians like me?
The United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development site provides information on Missouri specific housing purchasing programs as well as multi-family housing rental options available in rural areas of populations below 20,000. Their mission is to enhance the ability of rural communities to develop, grow, and to improve their quality of life by targeting financial and technical resources in areas of greatest need through activities of greatest potential.
6. I have mobility issues. How do I find a home that is accessible/universal design?
It is difficult to find affordable universal design housing. One of the obstacles is the ever evolving criterion for what features should be benchmarks in universal design housing. Currently, MHDC properties will be incorporating universal design features in their new construction. As more properties meet universal design principles or accessibility standards, we hope the number of such UD properties will expand across Missouri. As you search for universal design housing, it is wise to be informed about what those features should include. For additional information, check out our Universal Design page on this website.
7. Should I rent or should I buy?
Many factors figure into the decision of whether to rent or buy. Owning a home is a very complex process. Important information can be found on our site under both Rent a Home and Buy a Home.
8. Are there any sites where I can find an apartment in general and specify what I want?
Yes. Because the site maintains a broad database of apartments and is routinely updated, we recommend Rent.com. It is a free site and contains listings based on an address or zip code. However, if you need an accessible property, you may not find one here. Try checking the Rent a Home page of this website.
9. Is there any information on the process of renting an apartment?
Yes, a good starting point is at the HUD website. The site provides basic information that renters need to know concerning your rights as a tenant, ways to find rental properties that meet your needs, federal and local financing programs, agencies that can assist you in finding rental properties, ways to work effectively with a landlord and the need for renter's insurance to protect you and your valuables. Additional information concerning rights and responsibilities of renters can be found on our Rent a Home page on this website.
10. Is it possible for me to own my home? Who can assist me in buying a home to meet my needs?
There are many agencies that can assist, but a good place to start is with a housing counselor who is trained in all aspects of the housing purchase process and can direct you to other resources and agencies as necessary. To find a housing counselor in your local community, go to HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Missouri.
The MoHousing site has a variety of links to assist you on the topic of whether or not it is feasible to Buy a Home. Another source, HUD.gov – Buying a home, provides information on the nine steps that are involved in the purchase of your own home
11. Where can I find information about financial help for people who have low incomes?
Financial assistance information including specifics for those with low incomes for renting or purchasing a home or apartment is located on the Finance Information page of our site.
12. In order for me to live in the community, I need professional support. Where can I find a listing of agencies providing such supports?
The following link will take you to the Public and Private Supports page of this website which lists governmental and advocacy organizations that provide funding and support for people with a variety of disabling conditions that provide necessary services so people with disabilities may live in a home of their own.
13. Is there a way I can get up-to-date information on opportunities for me as a person with a disability related to civil rights, employment, healthcare, laws, housing, transportation, and technology from a national or Missouri perspective?
Yes, the national site is called Disability.gov and the Missouri Disability Portal can be found at Missouri Disability Portal. Both sites contain a wealth of information and links to key agencies who can provide assistance and direction to meet your needs. You can also find additional information under Public and Private Supports on this website.
14. Is there any transportation available for me when I live in a rural area of Missouri?
OATS is a non-profit public transportation system serving eighty-seven counties in Missouri. Additional information can be found on our website under Community Information.
15. Is there a way to find out information about the community in which I may want to live?
It is wise to learn about the neighborhood or community in which you choose to live. You will be able to search for statistics on cost of living, schools, community comparisons with where you now live, crime comparisons, etc. by checking out Community Information on this site. Also in this section, you will find suggestions for narrowing down your search concerning the safety of your neighborhood.
16. What rights do I have as a renter?
The Missouri Attorney General has issued some guidelines for landlords and tenants that lay out the responsibilities for both groups. Also, HUD's guidelines provide important information on the rights and responsibilities of renters. These can be found at Local Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: Missouri.
17. Who is eligible to receive services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities?
Eligibility is determined by what's known as a functional assessment as opposed to linking eligibility to a specific diagnosis. A developmental disability is a disability which is attributable to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, head injury, autism, or a learning disability related to a brain dysfunction, or any other mental or physical or mental impairment which occurs before the age 22. It must be determined that this disability is likely to continue indefinitely and that it results in a substantial functional limitation in two or more of the following six areas of major life activities:
- Receptive and expressive language development and use
- Capacity for independent living or economic self-sufficiency
18. Who should I contact if I believe I am eligible or a member in my family is eligible for services?
There are 12 regional offices/satellite offices located throughout the state. The following links will direct you to contact information for each office.
- Central Missouri Regional Office, Kirkville Satellite Office, Rolla Satellite Office
- Kansas City Regional Office, Albany Satellite Office
- St. Louis Regional Office, Hannibal Satellite Office, St. Louis Regional Tri-County Office
- Sikeston Regional Office, Poplar Bluff Satellite Office
- Springfield Regional Office, Joplin Satellite Office