Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions Below are frequently asked questions and their answers. All links on this page that take you to other web sites will open in a separate browser window.
1. What is the purpose of the site?
The site was developed by the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities to assist people with developmental and other disabilities to acquire affordable and 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. Universal design in a house would mean 36" wide doors, five-foot diameter clearance in kitchens and bathrooms, adjustable closet and pantry shelving, side by side refrigerator/freezer, adjustable countertops, hardwood floors and low pile carpet that allows ease of access, no more than a ½" threshold between flooring surfaces, no step entrances, sloped walkways etc. For more information on Universal design principles look under For builders on this web page.
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. Within the HUD web site is 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. Here is the link to the HUD web site. http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/states/missouri Throughout this web site, there are also links to particular sites within the HUD website to quickly get you to the information you want to find.
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 town in 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 available in rural areas. 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. How do I find a home that is accessible?
We have provided a database for rental properties that include properties with accessible features. As more properties meet universal design principles or accessibility standards, we hope the number of such accessible properties will greatly expand across Missouri. For additional information, go to Buying a Homeand/or Renting a Home.
7. 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 the site at http://www.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 Renting a Home page of this web site.
8. Is there any information on the process of renting an apartment?
Yes, a good starting point is at the HUD link below. The site listed below 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 at HUD.gov
9. 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 this link HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Missouri
10. I live in a rural town in Missouri. Is there any housing support directed at people like me?
The United States Department of Agriculture- Rural Development site provides information on Missouri specific housing purchasing programs in rural areas. 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.
111. 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 web site 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. Public and Private Supports.
12. 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 web site.
13. 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 87 counties in Missouri. Here is the link to the site. Additional information can be found on this web site under Community Information.
14. Where can I find housing finance information 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 web site.
15. What are the basics I need to know about buying a home?
The Mohousing site has a variety of links to assist you on the topic of Buying a Home. The site listed below provides information on the nine steps that are involved in the purchase of your own home at HUD.gov – Buying a home.
16. Is there a way to find out information about the community in which I may want to live?
Mohousing.com has a section called about the neighborhood or community in which you might choose to live. you will be able to get some statistics on cost of living, schools, community comparisons with where you now live, crime comparisons, etc. See Community Information on this site. Also in this section, you will find suggestions for narrowing down your search concerning the safety of your neighborhood.
17. What if I still cannot find what I am looking for?
There is contact information at the following link for you to talk to the site administrator for further information, recommendations, or requests - Contact Us. You may also check with the city or county chamber of commerce.
18. 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.These can be found on their website at www.ago.com. Also, HUD's guidelines provide important information on the rights and responsibilities of renters. These can be found at
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:
There are 11 regional offices located throughout the state in the following cities: Central Mo. Regional Office (Columbia, MO), Albany, Hannibal, Joplin, Kansas City, Kirksville, Poplar Bluff, Rolla, St. Louis (North and South), Sikeston, and Springfield.
If I'm eligible for services, is there an age requirement?
No. The Division of DD provides services to persons of any age. The only age requirement in determining eligibility is that the disability must have occurred prior to age 22 and is likely to last indefinitely.