7 Different Housing Options for Disabilities in NYC

01 Sep 2014

Finding an apartment in NYC is difficult for everyone – especially an affordable one.

Accessible housing options for disabilities can be even harder to find in and around NYC. There are old buildings with ten flights of stairs and no elevator. Buildings with elevators are frequently too tiny to hold a wheelchair, malfunctioning, or sometimes even broken all together. For some, the small vehicles may not give enough space for those with any disability or mental health issue causing unnecessary anxiety.

Below we list 7 housing options for disabilities in NYC.

We strive to pick the best ones we can find. These are agencies that frequently have carf accreditation. Be aware many agencies regularly have waiting lists and not every option here can be the best answer for you, your budget, and your needs.

We do recommend for anyone beginning their search for housing in NYC with unique needs such as a disability or mental illness, please check out the Center for Independent Living in New York(CIDNY). This amazing list of resources will help many get the right paperwork and research to discover their own eligibility for the below programs. CIDNY helps those who need it, find affordable, accessible housing in NYC and is a huge advocate for disability rights and accessibility in New York City.


Share your experience with FEGS. Leave a Review.

The Federal Employment and Guidance Services is a large agency in NYC helping people with any unique need, mental illness, or disability find many services other than just housing. Currently, they have 1900 people in independent housing thanks to their housing services. They also have their own residential communities, operating 100 different places over the last 33 years and offer supervised or supported housing opportunities. They also have affordable housing for those who are deaf, blind, or those that are low-income seniors. A real find in NYC.

In a city with a lot of people, it’s great to know that FEGS knows how to handle a lot of people well. They are carf accredited, but they also have a long list of affiliations and accreditations.

Share your experience with FEGS. Leave a Review.

Services for the Underserved

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Another carf accredited organization in New York City, SUS has many housing options for disabilities, mental illness, veterans, and much more. They manage 58 housing facilities – with 1,700 units and 3,000 people living in them. They offer different types of housing from permanent, to emergency or respite and understand housing should be personal. Not every housing situation is perfect for everyone.

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Avalon Communities

These apartment complexes in NYC are perfect for anyone looking for some accessibility in a high end housing setting. Avalon manages buildings all over the U.S. – many throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. New buildings are built green standards and are ADA compliant. Complexes like AVA High Line and Avalon Clinton feature disability access, some have large closets big enough for a wheelchair, and even sliding barn doors which could be easier to use for some with physical disability. These apartments are not for those on a limited budget, but rather looking for semi -affordable luxury in NYC.


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United Cerebral Palsy of New York City is another large organization that helps those with disabilities find housing, work, and to improve their lives. UCP offers various types of housing, including Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs), Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs), Supportive IRAs, and Independent Living. They help people of all disabilities and not just cerebral palsy.

Also Carf accredited, they do more than just offer quality services and homes. UCP also strives to “enhance the lives of our residents through parties, holiday celebrations, open houses, social outings and a variety of community activities. Every resident is given the opportunity to plan his or her vacation of choice, and may also join planned excursions out of the city.” (UCP)

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Concern for Independent Living

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This agency works with people all over New York State – not just in New York City. Then operate and maintain a several apartment buildings, as well as single family homes for those needing more than a single living space. They even have an online list of properties to check out.  They focus on helping those with disabilities, as well as low income, and have many services including community living, supported living, mixed-use supportive living, and apartments where residence are visited by staff for treatment a few times a week.

Not only are they carf accredited themselves, just look at this large list of community awards! Concern for Independent Living received from the National Association of Social Workers the 2012 Agency of the Year – New York State Chapter, Bank of America’s 2012 Neighborhood Builder, and NAMI’s 2011 Visionary of the Year award, just to name a few! 

This could be the best choice for those looking for not just single person living spaces, but for those with a family as well. Plus if you don’t want to stay in New York City, this organization has locations all over the state. They have a mission to help “individuals and families to live [within] the community with dignity and enhanced opportunities through the provision of housing and support services.” (Concern for Independent Living)

Share your experience with Concern for Independent Living. Leave a Review.

Institute for Community Living

Share your experience with the Institute for Community Living. Leave a Review.

Not every person with a need, disability, or mental illness is quite ready for living on their own. This is where the Institute for Community Living steps in. They “assist individuals and families affected by or at risk of mental illness or developmental disabilities with integrated comprehensive care designed to improve their well being, recovery and participation in community living.? “(ICL) They have helped over 5,000 people with histories of homelessness find stable housing since 1990 and most have stayed in stable housing.

They are also carf accredited, are currently housing over 1400 people in NYC and the majority of their buildings are in Brooklyn, NY. ICL believes “supportive housing is the foundation of stable community living and successful recovery for people with serious mental illness.” (ICL) A list of their services can be found here and they even help youth with mental or emotional illness have a stable, home like environment for any treatments they may need. The program’s goal, however, is to always return children back to their families when they are ready.

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Barrier Free Living

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This agency gets a mention because they’re offering a unique housing need – emergency housing for those who are disabled and victims of domestic violence. Barrier Free Living gives those with disabilities a second chance and an easier transition to a safe environment. They support “individuals with disabilities to live dignified lives free of all forms of abuse and bias.” (Barrier Free Living) and were the first in the nation to have a fully accessible emergency shelter for any and all victims of domestic violence.

Share your experience with Barrier Free Living. Leave a Review.

Finding housing in NYC is going to be a difficult endeavor and this list is simply a reference guide for those still looking or just beginning their search.

If you have any experiences of your own with these agencies, don’t hesitate to share your experience on their directory page on our site! It’s completely anonymous to the public!

This housing list was compiled by Lee Snow, contributor and Media Director for Jason’s Connection, an online directory that allows users to add and review disability, mental illness, and unique services in any area in the U.S. This is an original list of options – found through various websites for accreditation and awards.