Congregate Housing Introduction (What is it?)
Congregate Housing is a shared living environment designed to integrate the housing and services needs of elders and younger disabled individuals. The goal of Congregate Housing is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supportive services in a residential setting. Congregate Housing is neither a nursing home nor a medical care facility. It does not offer 24-hour care and supervision. Services are made available to aid residents in managing Activities of Daily Living in a supportive, but not custodial environment. Each resident has a private bedroom, but shares one or more of the following: kitchen facilities, dining facilities, and/or bathing facilities. Throughout the state there are many variations in size and design.
A Service Coordinator is employed and spends time on-site in the congregate to:
- Coordinate the activities of the local housing authority/housing agency and the various service provider agencies in order to bring about and maintain a well organized housing and services program.
- Develop individual service plans based on each resident's need for ASAP clients, and collaborate with other residents' service coordinator's to ensure service plans fit with the needs and requirements of congregate living (i.e., cleaning of shared spaces, preparation of shared meals, contributions to common expenses).
- Develop and maintain a Multi-disciplinary Assessment Team and Local Memorandum of Understanding.
- Conduct outreach, assist in the application and screening process, and assist with moving in and out of the facility.
- Develops, in coordination with the MAT Team, a plan for a 24 hour emergency response system.
- Supports the residents in a group living situation, including negotiating concerns among the residents
Eligibility for Congregate Housing
Eligibility for the congregate housing program requires a person to apply to the local housing authority, be at least 60 years of age or disabled, and meet the financial eligibility guidelines of the state 667 public housing program. Individuals may or may not have a physical and/or cognitive disability, but can participate in a shared living environment.
Residents are referred to congregate housing by family, hospitals, and community agencies. The Multi-disciplinary Assessment Team reviews the assessment of the potential resident as presented by the congregate housing services coordinator. The team then makes recommendations to the housing authority/housing agency regarding the capacity of the facility to support the applicant in the specified congregate housing unit.
The individual must:
- Be capable of independent living and not require constant supervision to carry out activities of daily living
- Be medically stable, oriented to person, place, and time, capable of independent decision making, and willing and able to follow through with any medical plan established with their physician
- Not exhibit behaviors which would be a disturbance to or infringement on the rights of other congregate housing residents.
- If an individual is not capable of meeting the above criteria independently, but through service provision (PCA, homemaker, home health aide, etc.), these criteria are met, and the individual may be appropriate.
Information for this article was provided in part by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website