Sept. 04--The federal government is pressuring providers to integrate people with disabilities into home-like settings, and Hope Haven is doing its best to meet the new standards.
The federal Olmstead Act, passed a few years ago, said people with disabilities should not be put in large institutional settings but in smaller settings in residential areas, and these homes should be scattered and not concentrated in one area.
The Iowa Finance Authority has for several years put aside money to fund the purchase of such homes for the disabled, according to Bob Bartles, Hope Haven Area Development Corp. executive director, but the loans weren't used much.
Last spring, the IFA added a "forgivable loan" to their offerings, Bartles said.
Hope Haven has identified a four-bedroom house in an area it doesn't occupy, he said. The purchase would reduce the concentration of those disabled by four who are living in another facility, and the concentration of facilities would come into greater compliance with the Olmstead Act, Bartles said.
It is applying for the IFA funding, requesting more than 50 percent of the loan be "forgivable," another portion at 1 percent interest and the rest paid by Hope Haven, Bartles said.
The address of the home and the amount of the loan were not disclosed.
Hope Haven asked Des Moines County supervisors to write a letter of support for the loan application.
At the Tuesday meeting, all three supervisors approved Hope Haven's efforts in letter form.
Bartles said the IFA has no deadlines and is not certain when they'll hear if they got the loan.
Hope Haven Area Development Corp. has provided services to the disabled for 55 years.
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