Anytime an IAC gets started, whether from one person or a large group, there are particular 'pieces of the puzzle' that must be present. Any person or group starting an IAC is united by the need to see a loved one have a supportive, independent community they can flourish in. Many families with a son or daughter with disabilities are overwhelmed and isolated, they know what their family member needs but the time and resources to create a new program seems overwhelming and unrealistic. If you sense the need for a new IAC in your area and want to be part of its creation here are certain 'pieces of the puzzle' to consider as you get started.
BUILDING/LAND - Obviously any IAC starts with the land and building. The first thing to consider is will you use an established building or acquire land and built from scratch. There are obvious benefits of being able to build a building specifically for your IAC but that's not always possible. It's especially important if your acquiring an existing building to consider if it meets the requirements to be a person's "dwelling unit", by having its own bathroom and kitchen. This can be especially important with Social Security and funding options. Establishing connections with cities where low income property can be utilized is a great source of getting land at a discount and benefitting the city. Additionally, relationships with builders can be a great source of help in making this project successful.
PASSION/TIME - If you're going to undertake the challenge of creating an IAC you need someone who can dedicate passion and time. This is a big project and you will need a person (people) who can help do all the things needed to keep the project on track. This piece of the puzzle doesn't need any special training/education or experience as much as passion and relentless drive to see the project through.
PROFESSIONAL ABILITIES - In creating an IAC it is very beneficial to have connections to professional abilities such as a lawyer, financial planner, HR professional, etc. Especially if you can assemble some people who are passionate about the IAC model you can get these skills at little to no cost to the project.
RESOURCES & CONNECTIONS - Connections to local resources such as the Mayor's office, City Council, Congress members, DDS officials, local businesses, etc. These connections and resources can help your IAC in various ways such as getting a building project started, getting local funds, securing funding for supports services and jobs for your residents.
FINANCES - "It all starts and stops with money!" Finding the finances to build an IAC is often the most daunting and overwhelming part. Don't give up though! There are various ways to fund an IAC- from a private foundation, a few big donors or through a low income tax credit program just to name a few. If you're interested in starting an IAC then determining your funding is where you likely will need to start. Many families incorrectly believe if they aren't wealthy then they can't start an IAC. Please know that isn't true, funding will be needed but there are various ways to get what is needed to start an IAC.
The IAC Group is dedicated to help individuals and groups work through barriers in order to start an IAC in their local area. Contact us at to see how we can help you and turn your need for a long-term supported home for your loved one into a successful Independent Apartment Community!
For more information and additional resources, contact us about our consulting options.
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