Nationally and in Maryland, there is an affordable housing crisis. Safe and accessible housing for rent or sale to people with limited income is scarce. A 2019 report from Apartment List pegs the median rent for a studio in Maryland at $1,119. However, according to Rent Café, which tracks real-time home rental availability, less than five percent of available rental units in Anne Arundel County are priced at less than $1,000 per month. Rents over $750 per month price out people with a disability and those with limited incomes.
Chesapeake Neighbors is committed to improving lives by expanding quality, affordable, accessible housing in our communities. Currently, Chesapeake Neighbors provides affordable and accessible housing to 97 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and 26 people through workforce housing.
We Build Capacity
Chesapeake Neighbors recently partnered in bringing Berger Square, an affordable living option to the community. Berger Square is a newly constructed apartment complex located in the Odenton Town Center. The new building includes 48 two-bedroom apartments with eight of the units set aside for people with a disability. The apartment complex also includes important amenities for building community: a computer center, fitness center, community garden, playground, walking trail, picnic area, and a community center.
In 2018 Chesapeake Neighbors designed and built a fully accessible home in Millersville that features four bedrooms; three bedrooms on the main level with two ADA bathrooms and a fully accessible kitchen with an ADA ramp off the back of the home. Additionally, the home includes an in-law suite in the basement, which has one bedroom and one bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room. The completion of the Millersville home marks a milestone in developing statewide opportunities for independent housing for people with a disability.
“We hope the Millersville home will help the community see the value and need for us to create many more ADA accessible and affordable homes that allow people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community the opportunity to own or live independently, in a home that suits their needs,” said CEO of The Arc Central Chesapeake Region, Jonathon Rondeau.
Chesapeake Neighbors is skilled in understanding the needs of people with a disability and translating those needs into inviting and accessible living spaces. Whether its larger doorways, lowered kitchen counters and sinks, wheel-in showers, or contrasting colors for walls and furnishings so people with limited vision can more easily navigate the room, Chesapeake Neighbors brings the knowledge and experience needed to create fully accessible homes. It is our attention-to-detail and usability that make the homes we renovate a welcoming place for people with a disability.
Chesapeake Neighbors shares The Arc’s position on housing: people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, like all Americans, have a right to live in their own homes, in the community. Children and youth belong with families. Adults should control where and with whom they live, including having opportunities to rent or buy their own homes, and must have the freedom to choose their daily routines and activities.
Central to our vision of quality, affordable, and accessible home for people with a disability and those with low incomes is our work in bringing these opportunities to more people in our community. Chesapeake Neighbors is also a member of the Anne Arundel Affordable Housing Coalition. The Anne Arundel Affordable Housing Coalition consists of nonprofit organizations, developers, builders, consultants, and a broad range of professionals engaged in the affordable housing industry in Anne Arundel County.
As a nonprofit, Chesapeake Neighbors is guided by a Board of Directors that is representative of the community we serve.
We invite you to join us in bringing quality, affordable, accessible living to people with a disability and those with limited incomes. Contact Jessica Sauers, Director of Operations, by phone at 410-384-4399 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.