AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE AND SUITABLE HOUSING About this sig: For over twenty years ACPD, The Action Committee of People with Disabilities (formerly known as the Handicapped Action Committee) has promoted the full integration of people with disabilities in our community. Through public and individual advocacy, ACPD has helped disabled people to achieve their independence and to participate in community life. One of the major obstacles faced by people with disabilities in achieving their independence is the lack of affordable, accessible and suitable housing. A large number of individuals in our community are "housing disadvantaged" because of their disabilities and other factors such as discrimination. Because many people with disabilities have low-incomes, finding adequate accommodation is extremely difficult. The Action Committee has a new Housing Initiatives Project the goal of which is to address the systemic barriers faced by people with disabilities in meeting their housing needs. This sig group will discuss some of the issues around housing and offers solutions that we as a community can implement to remove these barriers. First a definition of terms: By housing unit we may mean a person's home, a rental, a unit in a co-op or social housing, a residence in a group home, a room in a care facility, a transition house. Fruthermore, we strongly believe that housing means more than just a place to live! Affordable: the commonly accepted standard of affordability is that annual housing costs not exceed 30% of a household's gross income. Accessible: truly accessible housing includes physical and structural access as well as the availability of support services and proximity to other essential community supports. Suitable: We believe that just because someone can afford a place and it is accessible, it does not mean that a person with a disability would find such accommodation suitable. Disabled people must be accorded the same choices in "suitable housing" as are able-bodied individuals. If you would like to become directly involved in ACPD's Housing Initiatives Project or to use any of our services, such as our Individual Advocacy Program, or our Consumer Consultant Group on Accessibility, we invite you to give Carol or David a call at 383-4105 or drop by our office at 926 View Street, just below London Drugs. The different sub menus in this sig present information on various ways in which we can ensure the existence of adequate housing for people with disabilities in our community. We invite you to browse through the menus and to take part in the housing discussion group. We want everyone to exchange their creative ideas on how we can address this housing need. The Action Committee of People with Disabilities is facilitating this housing sig ideas in the belief that affordable housing builds strong communities.