Increasing Accessible, Affordable Housing

By Haley Burton

October 17, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) What housing options are available, accessible and affordable for those with disabilities in the Greater Binghamton area?

The Southern Tier Independence Center says not many and it wants to change that.

STIC hosted a housing conference, "There's No Place Like Home", on Wednesday. It educated people on what housing options are available and began an on-going conversation among service providers and those recipients on how to meet those needs.

People with disabilities, seniors, family members and service professionals all attended the day-long event.

"We thought it was a golden opportunity to bring people together to talk about what the housing issues are in the community and try to form a coalition, consortium that can study what's available and make some changes so we can bring more housing for people," said Maria Dibble, Executive Director.

Dibble says since last year, there are about 22,000 people who expressed interest in getting out of nursing homes alone and that didn't include any of the other institutional settings such as group homes, developmental centers and psychiatric centers.

"People with disabilities want to live in the community. They want to live in housing just like everyone else. But often times they can't get housing because they don't have much of an income, a very low income or they need wheelchair access so the housing they need isn't available to them," said Dibble, "We want to start serving people int he community rather than in institutions both are much more a higher quality of life and less expensive."

The Binghamton Housing Authority, NY Association on Independent Living, First Ward Action Council, Broome Development Services and other organizations that assist people with affordable accessible housing in Broome, Chenango and Tioga counties.

STIC is a not-for-profit community-based advocacy and service organization for people with all types of disabilities.