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. Throughout the state there are many variations in size and design, but in all Congregate Housing residents must have a private bedroom, and shared access to one or more of the following: kitchen facilities, dining facilities, and/or bathing facilities.
Congregate Housing does not offer 24-hour care and supervision; rather services are made available to aid residents in managing Activities of Daily Living in a supportive environment. Specifically, a Congregate Housing Coordinator is employed and spends time on-site in the housing 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 and/or collaborates with other residents' service networks 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 (MAT) and local Memorandum of Understanding between all parties;
- Conduct outreach, assist in the application and screening process, and assist with moving in and out of the facility;
- Develop, in coordination with the MAT, a plan for a 24 hour emergency response system; and
- Supports the residents in a group living situation, including negotiating concerns among the residents.
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.
Residents are referred to Congregate Housing by family, hospitals, and community agencies. The Congregate Housing Coordinator gathers information and conducts an assesmsnet of the applicant’s needs and suitability for group living. The Multi-disciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) reviews the assessment of the potential resident and makes recommendations to the housing authority/housing agency regarding the capacity to support the applicant in the specified Congregate Housing unit.