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Unformatted text preview: MENTAL RETARDATION VOLUME 44, NUMBER 4: 295303 AUGUST 2006 295 q American Association on Mental Retardation Meaning of Homeownership for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: A Qualitative Study David Hagner, Judith Snow, and Jay Klein Abstract In-person semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 homeowners selected by 6 state home- ownership programs as representing good examples of homeownership by individuals with devel- opmental disabilities. Recurring themes were found in the choice of a home, advantages and disadvantages of homeownership, handling problems, community relationships, finances, supports, future plans, and homeownership advice. Although the process of purchasing the home was de- scribed as lengthy and difficult and ownership brought unexpected problems, these were outweighed by the financial, social, and psychological benefits of owning ones own home. A variety of external factors, including some undue control of the process by service providers and family members, appeared to add to the difficulties homeowners faced. Implications for improvements in homeown- ership assistance programs are discussed. Homeownership has long been regarded as a central component of the American dream. The advantages that have been associated with owning ones own home include (a) a greater degree of choice and control (Galbraith, 2001; OBrien, 1994), (b) more housing and neighborhood stability (Everson & Wilson, 2000), (c) an improved sense of community attachment (Cuba & Hummon, 1993; Mesch & Manor, 1998), (d) greater economic security and opportunity to accumulate equity (Page-Adams & Sherraden, 1997; Wilson & Ever- son, 2000), (e) enhanced community status (Ever- son & Wilson, 2000), and (f) increased social and community involvement (Howe, Horner, & New- ton, 1998; Rohe & Basalo, 1997). Control over ones own residence has been in- creasingly recognized as an important consideration for advancing the choice and control of adults with developmental disabilities over their own lives (Mc- Carthy, 2000). Restricted opportunities for individ- uals with disabilities to make decisions or to exer- cise choice in matters that directly affect daily life (Kishi, Teelucksingh, Zollers, Park-Lee, & Meyer, 1998) reflect, in part, the restrictive environments in which people have historically been placed (Duvdevany, Ben-Zur, & Ambar, 2002). Greater control over ones living environment is recognized as a critical feature of self-determination for adults with developmental disabilities (Stancliffe, Abery, & Smith, 2000) and has been one of the motivating forces behind the movements towards self-directed funding (Turnbull & Turnbull, 2001) and person- alized supports (Blumberg, Ferguson, & Ferguson, 2000)....
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