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Autism, ABI, What's Next?

David McKinley, CIL's Corporate Benefit Officer , gives his thoughts on waves and trends in community-based supportive housing.


Looking Back

Advocacy and innovation have always been critical elements of CIL’s development activities. The organization was created by advocates who were determined to see that persons with disabilities received quality services in a variety of non-institutional settings.


CIL has played a key role over its history in helping persons with disabilities move from institutionalized settings to small, community-based homes. Its homes are occupied by former residents of Mansfield and Southbury Training Schools in Connecticut, and Belchertown, Dever, Fernald, and Monson State Schools in Massachusetts.



Much of CIL’s activity over the past few years has focused on developing housing for persons with acquired and traumatic brain injuries in Massachusetts. An agreement first reached in 2008 and amended in 2013 known as Hutchinson v. Patrick Settlement is allowing hundreds of persons to leave institutional nursing homes and move into community-based housing. These persons experienced injuries caused by accidents, strokes, sinus infections, and other acquired and traumatic means.


CIL has developed over 20 homes in Massachusetts under this ABI initiative. Homes are developed in collaboration with provider agencies under long-term leases. At the end of the lease term, homes are donated at no cost to the providers.


Homes typically are fully accessible with large bathrooms, specialized bathing equipment, widened halls and doorways, multiple common areas, custom finishes, laundry rooms, med rooms, emergency generators and fire safety features. CIL has worked with BAMSI, BFAIR, MHA Springfield, ServiceNet, Guidewire, MHA Lowell, Kennedy Donovan and other MA private providers on these ABI initiatives.



CIL has also been active in developing homes for young persons with autism. Amego, Bridgewell, Becket and the Guild for Human Services are several agencies that are collaborating with CIL in the creation of new residential settings.  Many of these homes are being developed under the Massachusetts Turning 22 (T-22) initiative. The services provided by this state law serve as a bridge for young persons with disabilities transitioning from educational services to adult human service programs.


Looking Forward

CIL continues to collaborate with advocates to explore new models that will allow more persons to secure the housing and services they need. These models include non-licensed homes with alternate ownership and financing structures, affordable, set-aside apartments in market rate projects, and specialized common interest communities that include a support service element.