Heidelberg apartments are for adults with autism — and others

Connections posted about the David Wright Apartments back in May of this year. If you missed the May 2nd deadline for applications have no fear, Applications are still being accepted for the Dave Wright Apartments. For an application: www.ahdcp.org/renting.

The Dave Wright Apartments on Washington Street are a joint project of Autism Housing Development Corp. of Pittsburgh and ACTION-Housing Inc. Construction is on target to be completed before Sept. 15, the goal for tenants to move into the building.

Adults with autism soon will be able to move into new apartments in Heidelberg where they can live independently, and where half of their neighbors will be people who do not have autism.

“Most housing for people with autism is just for people with autism,” said Elliot Frank, president and founder of Autism Housing Development Corp. of Pittsburgh. “Inclusiveness is what makes this different.”

In the entire country, Mr. Frank said, he has found only one other apartment project like this one — in Richmond, Va.

He explained that when educational and social services stop at age 21, many people with autism “graduate to the couch,” with most living at home with their parents. Mr. Frank founded the autism housing group in 2011 to develop safe and affordable housing for adults with autism.

Half of the 42 apartments are reserved for people on the autism spectrum. All of the apartments are for people with low- to moderate incomes, with monthly rents of $565 to $795. All of the apartments are wheelchair-accessible, and six of the units meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards for people with disabilities.

This is ACTION-Housing’s first apartments for adults with autism, said Linda Metropulos, director of housing and neighborhood development for ACTION-Housing, which has been helping people with special needs or low incomes find and maintain housing since 1957. The nonprofit will be the management company for the apartments, she said.

The apartments are designed for adults with autism who are capable of living independently with, perhaps, some support. Staff from NHS, which provides education and human services for people with special needs, will be on site 25-40 hours per week to help tenants, including linking them to social opportunities, financial counseling and medical services.

The building has a community room, a “quiet lounge,” an exercise area and an office for NHS staff. Thirty-four apartments have one bedroom and eight have two bedrooms. A Port Authority bus stops at the apartments, and grocery stores and other shops are within walking distance.

To Read the full article visit the Heidelberg Apartments PPG Article page

This article brought to you by Linda Wilson Fuoco / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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