Independence Place (IP) Concept
The Independence Place concept is a four-unit (quadruplex), small-scale development that can be placed in any community. The easily replicable design for in-fill rental serves as a template for other entities to duplicate the concept in other sites, creating accessible housing opportunities in multiple neighborhoods, which supports greater housing choice. The concept can be funded from a variety of sources.
Working with the Greene County Department of Human Services and the county’s RDA, Accessible Dreams completed construction of Independence Place 1 in August 2016.
Independence Place Quadruplex Design
Independence Place was designed by Accessible Dreams as a "quadruplex" (four-unit apartment building) with two accessible 1,100 SF apartments on the ground floor and two additional units on the second floor. The street-level apartments are designed to be wheelchair-friendly throughout, including zero-step entries, accessible showers, wide hallways, and accessible kitchen and laundry areas. All four apartments have been built with universal design in mind, are thus adaptable to a wide range of individual needs and preferences. Each includes two bedrooms, one bath, living/dining room, and kitchen.
The overall accessibility design of the quadruplex units was informed by the answers of survey respondents, focus group participants, TRPIL consumers and staff, and Accessible Dreams clients and staff.
The Independence Place design addresses the needs and preferences of people with disabilities in the following ways:
- Location: Since location is a key housing need for people with disabilities, the Independence Place concept was designed to be suitable as in-fill housing. The in-fill model meets the needs and preferences of many people with disabilities for location, is attractive to redevelopment authorities due to its ability to rehabilitate abandoned or blighted areas, and is suitable in any area – urban, suburban, or rural.
- Universal Design: A highly customizable universal design allowing specific modifications due to need or preference (see below, Accessibility bullet) was key. We also adapted the base design to include different options and specific alterations desired – like extra storage space for assistive technology equipment; space to install stair-lifts in an attractive and useful manner; reinforced bathroom walls everywhere, so grab bars could be installed anywhere a resident preferred, etc.
- Accessibility: Elements like accessible height controls, safety features including sprinklers and visual/audible warnings, and further additional storage spaces for assistive technology (like having an “outside/downstairs” wheelchair and an “inside/upstairs” wheelchair).
- Availability: Additional construction of further Independence Place projects can increase the supply of accessible housing units, of the type desired by people with disabilities, to quickly and easily match demand.