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Approaches exist to increase financing for housing for people with disabilities

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 10/26/2010

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In light of the many accomplishments and challenges that remain since the passage of the Act, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and partners sponsored a forum in February. Participants with expertise from a variety of areas discussed how to leverage the resources of different sectors to bring more people with disabilities into the financial mainstream.

A book titled, "Opportunities in Community Development Finance in the Disability Market," brings together the many provocative papers presented at the forum.

Housing experts illustrated that the trend during the past 20 years away from institutional and nursing facility care has resulted in unmet demand for community residential services and supports. Lack of capital and scarcity of data supporting market segmentation for people with disabilities are the primary obstacles to meeting this demand.

However, the forum experts explained that Community Development Financial Institutions are uniquely positioned to provide the type of capital needed by the disability housing market.

Experts also demonstrated how traditional marketing disciplines can be used to create market segmentations for this market with currently available data.