Housing Guide for Young People
updated March 28, 2024

Where to Look

If you are a young person with a disability, it might not be easy to find a place that meets all your needs, with some hard work and the support of your team, you can succeed in finding the place you can call “home!”

One place to start your search is by checking HB101’s guide to Housing Search Tools.

This guide tells you what sorts of housing each tool lists. This can help you look for affordable housing, housing that includes services, and other types of housing options. Each housing search tool is described so that you can make sure to use the ones that are most helpful for you.

How to make a Good Impression

When you find a place you like, you’ll need to fill out an application to live there. And when you do that, it’s important to present yourself in the best way possible.

Your goal when you fill out an application, or talk with a property manager or landlord, is to convince them that you will be a good tenant. There are many ways to do this. Here are some tips you of things you should always do when you meet with somebody:

  • Be polite, friendly, and positive.
  • Look and smell clean when you meet with somebody in person: take a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and dress nicely.
  • Don’t use bad language, chew gum, or smoke.

In addition to the above tips, any time you apply for something (an apartment, a college, a job, or anything else), you need to be ready to talk about why you are a good choice. HB101’s Presenting Yourself activity is a great way to do this. It helps you prepare talking points so that you are ready when you meet somebody. These talking points can include:

  • If you have a job.
  • If you are in school.
  • If somebody will co-sign your rental lease.
  • If somebody will help make sure you pay your rent on time.
  • If you have references from previous landlords or property managers.
  • If you participate in community groups.
  • If you are taking steps to solve problems you had in the past.

How to Explain Your Situation

It’s important to be a strong self-advocate. If you run into issues when you apply for housing, you might be able to solve some of them by writing a letter. A letter can give you a formal way of stating in writing why you should be allowed to live in a place. A letter isn’t the solution to everything, but it can help

In certain situations. For example, you could write a letter to ask a landlord to reconsider your housing application or to ask for changes to your housing because of your disability. You could also write a letter to explain something that happened in the past and why it won’t happen again.

These days, a lot of people never write formal letters, so it might not seem easy to write one. But HB101’s Write a Letter path is an interactive way to quickly write a formal letter on your own!

The Write a Letter path can help you write three types of letters:

  • Reasonable accommodation request letters may help if you have a disability and your housing problem is related to your disability. Examples: Your housing application was denied because of a mental health problem you had in the past, or you need a parking space that is closer to the building.
  • Appeal letters may help if a property manager or landlord has made a decision that is a problem for you. Examples: Your housing application was denied or you were sent an eviction notice.
  • Explanation letters may help if you have a problem related to your housing situation, but a property manager or landlord has not taken action yet. Examples: You have fallen behind on your rent, you had a disagreement with a neighbor, or you broke a rule in the lease.

The path helps you figure out which of these letters might solve your housing problem and help you find or keep the place you want to live in.