updated September 22, 2017

Are you living in a place you don’t like? If so, can you improve your current place? Or do you need to find a new place that’s better?

When you think about these questions, one of the very first things you can do is start a list of what you like and dislike about where you live. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Can you afford the place where you live or is it too expensive?
  • Do you have as much space as you need? (For example, do you have your own bedroom?)
  • Are you in a neighborhood you like?
  • Is there a lot of crime in your area?
  • Are you near the people you care about?
  • Do you get along with your neighbors?
  • Is your place well maintained and safe to live in?
  • If you use public transportation, is there a bus stop close to your home?
  • If you have a job, can you commute to work in a reasonable amount of time?
  • If you live with family, housemates, or roommates, do you get along with them?
  • If you have a disability, is your home accessible for you?
  • If you have a disability, do you get all the services you need, like help with dressing, bathing, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and shopping?
  • If you live in a group home or in a facility, such as a nursing home, would you prefer to live in your own home or apartment?
  • Do you want to own your own home?

For each of these questions, figure out how much the answer matters to you — is it very important, somewhat important, or not important at all? For example, some people might not find it really important to be near their extended families, while others might want to be in the same town or city. Obviously, if you cannot afford your current housing situation or it doesn’t meet your disability needs, it is very important to improve your situation.

This article is meant to help you figure out:

  • How you can fix some important problems with your current housing while continuing to live in the same place, and
  • How to find a new place if you can’t fix the problems in your current housing.

Depending on your needs, you’ll have to figure out which of these approaches is the best way for you to change your housing situation.

Note: This article is not for people who urgently need to move. It is meant for people who have a place to stay, but want something better in the long run. If you need to move right now, see HB101’s Finding Home article to come up with a full plan for finding a place.