Olmstead Planning Process

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), indicating that states have a legal obligation to administer programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.The Olmstead decision, and subsequent Department of Justice guidance, recognized that a state may satisfy this obligation through development of a comprehensive, effectively working plan for placing qualified persons with disabilities in less restrictive settings.  These plans are known as Olmstead Plans. The Commonwealth’s current Olmstead Plan was finalized in 2008.

The Committee on Housing and Services for People with Disabilities of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness has made the decision to update the Commonwealth’s existing Olmstead Plan. The ICHH has designated an Olmstead Planning Committee with representatives from the EOHHS agencies, DHCD, and MassHousing to guide the review and development of the new Olmstead Plan.

The Committee will document historical progress toward Olmstead goals, review the state’s present system, identify systemic strengths, barriers and gaps, and prioritize areas to build or improve upon. With broad-based stakeholder engagement and input, the ultimate goal of this process is a comprehensive and representative Olmstead Plan.

The revised Olmstead Plan will provide a roadmap for supporting the housing and service needs of persons with disabilities regardless of age.