Skip to main content
Click to toggle navigation menu.

A Brief Summary of Housing Options

Many of us wonder what the future holds for our friends and relatives with autism spectrum disorder. Will they stay at home with family? Live independently? Or will they need supports while living elsewhere?

While these questions can be stressful to contemplate, there are a growing number of housing options that provide the right environment, and cater to the special needs of people with ASD.

Here are a few residential options one may consider for individuals with autism, ordered by level of independence expected, from lowest to highest.

Supported Living 

Why: Supported or Assisted Living Programs may have staff members or supports built into a program, or they may need to be provided through family or outside help. The most common of this type of option is the Group Home, where an individual lives with others in a house, surrounded by other people with disabilities, where the support can be built-in.

Price of Average Living Space:

Many supported living programs allow either privatized funding for everything or involve subsidization through governmental programs.

Price of Supports: Depends more on where you can get the assistance or if the assistance is available.


Intentional Communities  

Why: Intentional Communities, like Promise in Florida, or Malbridge in Austin, Texas, are meant to provide a variety of experiences (depending on the level of independence) catering to the special needs communities.
These communities usually have working options to build up valuable experiences and gain greater financial independence, even in income-sharing communities.

The picture featured in this article is of Sweetwater Spectrum Housing, which is an “Intentional Community” in Sonoma, CA.

 Price of average living space: Varies. There are all sorts of communities out there, and pricing is based on ability/skill level and location and amenities.

Price of supports: Depends on what level of independence one prefers. Supports are included in the overall community costs.


Independent Living Programs

Why: In an independent living program, the individual lives in an apartment complex, learns valuable life skills, and can get help from tutors within the program. The individual can learn how to do the laundry, run the dishwasher, cook food, etc.

Price of average living space: $2,500 – $5,000 dollars depending on the level of independence expected and region of the country.

Price of Supports: Supports are included within the programs. As this caters to a more independent clientele, supports are provided in a counseling matter.


Conventional Housing

Why: As many know, there are people with autism who live on their own, successfully—I am one of them. I love the independence of being in my own apartment, with every space free to traverse, but it is not for everyone, especially if one can get lonely.

Price of average living space: Depends on fiscal realities. My apartment is $1,430 a month, excluding payments to the power company and any additional expenses.

Also important to note is that there is Section 811 Housing, which subsidizes housing, through the government for an individual with a disability whose income is low enough to qualify. Read more here:

Price of Supports: Not covered through this option.