One of the most basic human rights that we all take for granted is the ability to live in decent housing or communities in our society. But that right doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, and sadly, too many people in our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not able to enjoy that very elemental freedom. They are currently primarily living with family or in host homes in Colorado without many of the options that the rest of us enjoy.
I am a proud parent of a young man with Down syndrome. I worry about where my son Kennedy will live when I am gone. What I want...and what I am sure other parents of children with I/DD want…are more options. Whether those are independent housing or apartments, planned communities, intentional communities, or co-housing, the options should be broad, just as they should be across all parts of society. People with I/DD, just like everyone else in Colorado, should be able to choose where they want to live.
The solution is as simple as it is complex. We must immediately make creating accessible and affordable housing and communities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities a priority and that begins by encouraging our state’s leadership to get on board. And the time is now.