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This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.
Mandatory Visitability in All New Housing
- Priority level
The jurisdiction requires visitability by law for all new housing
Visitability in housing refers to designing and constructing homes that are accessible for people with mobility impairments. This includes features such as zero-step entrances, wider doorways, and accessible bathrooms on the main floor. By incorporating visitability features, homes become more inclusive and welcoming for individuals with disabilities, aging adults, and families with strollers or heavy packages.
|Type of Policy
|The jurisdiction requires visitability by law for all new housing
|The jurisdiction requires visitability by law for multiple types of new housing
|The jurisdiction requires visitability by law for at least one type of new housing
|The jurisdiction requires visitability by law for all new housing built with public funds (in whole or in part)
|The jurisdiction requires developers to offer visitability as an option for homebuyers
|The jurisdiction incentivizes visitability via financial benefits
|The jurisdiction incentivizes visitability via other means (certification, etc.)
Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, Mandatory Visitability in All New Housing" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/mandatory-visitability-in-all-new-housing/. Accessed: February 23, 2024.
- Mandatory Visitability in All Publicly Funded New Housing
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Accessibility in housing is a pressing issue for young people with disabilities but should be a pressing issue for all. Everyone benefits from an accessible space – none of us is fully abled all of the time and our lives are richer when we can welcome all people into public spaces and our homes.
“There is rampant discrimination in housing options against those with disabilities. Application processes are too long to qualify for housing and very often people are considered too disabled to live in available housing. You can be kicked out of your housing for being a student. Studio apartments are like shoeboxes – they are not accessible to those in wheelchairs or those who are older.” – Ejay Velez
The success and speed of ending or preventing youth homelessness in a particular jurisdiction will depend on how much it is prioritized. The State Index currently tracks whether a jurisdiction specifically appropriates money for youth and young adult housing and whether there are jurisdiction-wide plans to create enough affordable and accessible housing. In the future, we may track whether there are government-funded agencies or employees who are responsible for coordinating and improving youth homelessness services in the jurisdiction or whether there is a plan to end youth homelessness developed in consultation with youth and young adults who were paid for their time and expertise.