Types of Housing
updated December 3, 2014

People can live in many different types of settings, including their own homes, condominiums, individual or shared apartments, Adult Foster Care (AFC), and long-term care facilities, just to name a few. Services, such as cooking, cleaning, personal care assistance, and skilled nursing are available in any of them, but how you get those services varies.

People can move from one setting to another if it makes sense. For example, if you live in Adult Foster Care, you could decide to move into your own apartment. Here are some reasons people might choose a particular housing setting:

  • They prefer to rent a place.
  • They own a home.
  • They need 24-hour skilled nursing care.
  • They want to save money by living in a shared setting.
  • They qualify for public benefits that help them with a specific type of housing.
  • They have families and need larger places.
  • They want to live near their friends, family, or job.
  • They like living in the community and don’t want to be in a long-term care facility.

These are just a few things that can impact your choices. The key is that no matter what your situation, there is a place where you can live.

Comparing Your Options

The articles in this section compare different housing options, looking at:

  • Which settings make sense for which people
    • Example: People who need help with bathing and cleaning may live in their own homes and contract assistants to help them, while people who have recently been hospitalized and need skilled nursing may stay in nursing homes.
  • What different settings look like
    • Example: An Adult Foster Care location may look like a house, while a cooperative can look like a large apartment building.
  • Whether they include services or if you need to get services separately:
  • How they are regulated
    • Example: Government agencies regulate housing settings in different ways to make sure that people who live in them are treated well.
  • What sorts of programs can help you if you have low income and low assets. Different public benefits programs help people in different situations.
  • How to find a place
    • Example: Some housing settings have central locations or websites that can help you find a place to live.
  • Who can help you
    • Example: Depending on your type of housing, you can contact different people to get help with your problems.

If you are looking at changing your housing situation, carefully compare your options. There are programs that can help you move from a group home and into "the community,” which means living in your own home or apartment.

Get Help

  • 2-1-1 (1-800-543-7709 by cell phone)
  • The Disability Linkage Line® (DLL) at 1-866-333-2466
  • The Senior LinkAge Line® (SLL) at 1-800-333-2433