There are many types of housing available where you can live independently. You can choose to live in a private home or apartment with or without services. You can also choose to live in a group home, assisted living, or adult foster care where services are provided to you and other people living with you. Housing with services is usually licensed or regulated by an outside agency. You may want to ask about this when thinking about your choices.
There are a lot of ways to help you find or keep housing in the community that is accessible and that you can afford. Some housing assistance helps you live independently. Other housing assistance comes with services that you may need and want.
The costs to you are different depending on your situation. Most of these programs have rules that are based on your income and level of need.
Each program has different rules so you will need to contact the program directly.
- I need help in finding an accessible home or apartment. The Virginia Housing Development Authority keeps a directory of accessible housing.
- I need help making my current home or apartment accessible. Some programs offer help by making changes to your home called “home modifications”. These changes may include putting in ramps and grab-bars, making doorways wider, changing the bathrooms or kitchen. Other changes can include moving plugs, lights or thermostats, and putting in special electric and plumbing systems. Visit the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) for more information.
If you use a Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver, check with your case manager, transition coordinator, or other service provider to see if you are eligible for payment by Medicaid for “environmental modifications”. Tax credit information is also available on the Virginia Government Tax Credit website.
- I need help in repairing my house. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development offers programs that may be able to help, depending on what type of repairs you need. Visit Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development website for more information. Help may also be available in your community. To find out more visit the VirginiaNavigator website and select “home modification & safety” and put in your zip code.
- I need help paying my rent. You may be able to get help from the federal Housing Choice (“Section 8”) Voucher program. The Section 8 Voucher program pays your rent directly to landlords who participate. Find the public housing agency that runs the program where you live. You may also qualify for “project-based” rental assistance. This program gives rental assistance to people who live in certain housing developments. For programs run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development visit their website. For rental help in rural areas visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- I want to buy a house. Many programs may be able to help you buy a house. If you want to learn how to buy a house, sign up for a home ownership education program or see a housing counselor. If you are ready to buy a house, learn about VHDA Home Loan Programs and "Homelessness to Homeownership" Programs.
- I am moving from an institution into the community and need help setting up my household. If you have a Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver you may be able to use “transition services.” This pays for “household set-up” costs if you will be living in a private home and will be paying your own living expenses. Check with your case manager, transition coordinator, or other service provider to see if you can use this service.
- Contact your local Center for Independent Living, Area Agency on Aging, or public housing agency.
- To find out more about help for very low income families to buy, repair or change their home visit the Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Development website.
- To find out more about living in your home or apartment with assistance, visit the topics “Personal Care and Personal Assistance Services” and “Homemaker, Chore and Companion” on this website.
If you'd like to view additional articles and links related to living independently,
choose from the following topics:
Adult Day Services, Assistive Devices, Home Modification, Home Safety & Fall Prevention, Homelessness, Staying in Your Home, Subsidized Housing
- Is assisted living right for me? Assisted living is a place where four or more adults live together. Assisted living gives care that is “non-medical” and provides or coordinates personal and health care services with 24-hour supervision. Visit the Department of Social Services website to find an assisted living place near you. To see if you might qualify for help in paying for assisted living, visit the Virginia Department of Social Services Auxiliary Grant program website.
- Is adult foster care what I need? Adult Foster Care is a program that offers a place to live, supervision, and special services for up to three adults. Check with your local department of social services to see if this is a choice that works for you. To see if you may be able to get help in paying for adult foster care, go to the Virginia Department of Social Services Auxiliary Grant program website.
- Do I need a nursing home? A nursing home is a place that offers nursing services and health-related services 24-hours a day. You can check with your local department of social services, Center for Independent Living, or Area Agency on Aging to see if this is a good choice for you. To find a Medicaid- or Medicare-certified nursing home, visit the Nursing Home Compare Web site. To find a privately funded nursing home, contact the Virginia Department of Health’s Center for Quality Health Care Services at (804) 367-2102.
- What about a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)? A Continuing Care Retirement Community offers a place to live and nursing services to you if you are going to need it for a long time. You will be asked to sign an agreement with the continuing care retirement community and pay an entrance fee. Because CCRCs can cost a lot, you should talk to a financial advisor before signing a contract with a continuing care retirement community. You can find contact information about Virginia’s Continuing Care Communities on the Bureau of Insurance website.
- Are there group homes available? A group home is a home where people live with other people in the community with 24-hour a-day supervision and assistance. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) licenses group homes for people with an intellectual disability (once called mental retardation), people with a mental health issue, and people with a substance use disorder. For more information, contact your local Community Services Board.
- To find out more about these programs and to see if there are other living choices that come with services, contact your local Center for Independent Living, Area Agency on Aging, Department of Social Services, or Community Services Board.
If you'd like to view additional articles and links related to housing with
services, choose from the following topics:
Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Nursing Homes, Retirement Communities