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What are Independent Livings?

Independent Livings are privately owned or operated home or complex that provides shared housing for adults with disabilities living on fixed income and others who may benefit from a shared housing environment.

For residents living with a disability including mental illness or with an extremely limited income, such as Social Security, locating affordable housing can be an enormous hurdle. Housing is one of the major barriers to recovery from disabilities including mental illness. Independent Livings provide an important housing option for people with extremely low income or disabilities including mental illness in Alameda County.

What to look for in an Independent Living

Independent Livings facilitate a group of adults living together as a family, and provide a safe affordable home for thousands of people in Alameda County.  Each home is as individual as the people who live in them.

The ILA recommends that quality Independent Livings demonstrate the following attributes:

  • Clean, safe and well maintained housing;
  • A clear statement of policies is made available to residents and clearly explained prior to lease signing;
  • Clear grievance procedures and opportunities for residents to positively influence their environment and remove unhealthy influences;
  • An environment that respects the privacy of the residents;
  • An environment free of any type of abuse or discrimination that requires all residents to be treated with dignity, consideration and respect at all times;
  • Concerned and competent Owners/Resident Assistants;
  • Clearly outlined amenities that are consistently and fairly made available to all residents;
  • A resident focused living environment.

All ILA members must adhere to the quality attributes noted above and receive annual home coaching visits to ensure that their homes are the best they can be.

Click here for further details on the ILA Quality Standards.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Independent Livings.

In addition, it may be helpful to consider the following when looking for an Independent Living:

  • Does the Independent Living have a screening process?
  • Does the Independent Living have a business license?
  • Consider feedback from other residents and family members.
  • Consider Independent Livings that place high value on resident feedback.
  • Can the owner or Resident Assistant clearly communicate?
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