Seattle-based developer ECC Management, LLC (ECC) is tapping into the growing trend toward cottage home living to create permanent homes for adults with disabilities. ECC announces the site selection and commencement of the design and development of its first neighborhood created specifically for adults with intellectual, developmental and acquired disabilities. The first community, named Luna Azul, will be located in the Phoenix Metro area and feature 30 cottage or "pocket" homes. In this community, adults will live safely and permanently in homes owned by their parents or a family trust within a neighborhood of peers.
Founder and Principal Mark Roth developed the concept as an alternative to the living options now available for his disabled daughter. "Few good options exist today for adults with disabilities, or for their families," says Roth. "Pocket neighborhoods are a great concept and already popular, especially among adults seeking greater energy efficiencies in their homes and more intimate community living and support systems. We are taking this terrific idea, and deliberately developing for and inviting adults with a wide range of disabilities into our pocket neighborhoods. By doing so, we know Luna Azul and our future communities will provide great opportunities for safe and permanent independent' living, where residents may own their home and get the personal support services they require, all while living with roommates of their choice, and benefiting from broad social, recreational and vocational opportunities that are so rarely available for these adults."
Each will have a front porch and be built facing a community courtyard, and will feature quality styling, full kitchens, baths, and unique safety and design features. Amenities in this gated community will include a large club house, immaculate landscaping, exercise and recreational facilities, an outdoor pool and ample parking.
Individual families will arrange for the unique in-home services required for their family member, but the homeowners together will share the planning and costs of community services like a full-time director, overnight staffing, light home maintenance, transportation assistance, and recreational/social activities. And because of the number of resident/consumers, many routine vendor services will be delivered on site, in the clubhouse, rather than only after a long drive.
"Since homes may be owned by the parents or family trusts, the adult child can count on a safe home even after parents are gone," says Roth. "I need this peace of mind for my daughter's future, and I know thousands of other parents need these homes for their children as well."
While investigating options for his daughter, Roth kept finding important flaws in available housing schemes. "Of course, institutional housing is not right for her or most anyone," he says. "But the movement away from institutional housing created new problems in the long-term care of adults with disabilities." He points out that government-supported group homes and individually-designed living arrangements often leave these adults more exposed, with very little control or choices, more dependent on very limited transportation assistance and, importantly, more isolated from peers and friends.
"While integration is certainly a laudable goal, the result is that these vulnerable adults live with limited security and are dependent on vendors or busy family members for transportation to each and every social, vocational, recreational and health visit. They often cannot choose their roommates, are captive to rent increases, and are dependent on the competence and goodwill of facility owners and third party service providers," says Roth. "Quality housing is scarce and extremely long waiting lists are common, so moving to a better living situation, if need be, is rarely a realistic option, especially after parents are gone."
Uniquely, title to homes in ECC neighborhoods may be owned by a family or Special Needs Trust, and extra rooms may be rented by the family-owners to compatible roommates in order to help defray costs.
Luna Azul is currently in early development and is anticipated to break ground in early 2016. ECC Management plans to build more cottage home neighborhoods in the coming years, with the goal of providing this new housing option for adults with disabilities throughout the country.
ECC Management (www.eccmanagement.net) was founded and is managed by Mark Roth, a former securities attorney and the father of a teenager with special needs. The Company develops and sells title to cottages in pocket neighborhoods which are suitable for, but not exclusive to, adults with intellectual, developmental and acquired disabilities. Homes are sold at market prices, and investors and lenders are paid market returns so that housing projects, and residents' well-being, are never entirely dependent on government subsidies or charitable giving.
Mr. Roth is also the founder of The Cottage Foundation, Inc. (cottagefoundation.org), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation raising money to help finance the development of housing for adults with special needs.
27 July 2018 - Visit Luna Azul - First For-Sale U.S. Residential Community for Adults with Special Needs for the latest update on the Luna Azul community.
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