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There is a serious shortage of housing in Vermont. This limited housing pool is further reduced if you are among the many Vermonters who need housing that can architecturally accommodate a wheelchair, walker, cane, etc.

A person with limited mobility from a sickness or a physical injury faces a real dilemma when looking for housing: Where do I find a place that doesn’t have stairs, where the doorways are wide enough, with a bathroom that I can use? The impact of extremely limited accessible housing can be quite severe. 

A few examples: Ericka was forced to leave the job she had accepted in Vermont when she was unable to find accessible housing after more than a year. Ren needlessly spent 11 months in a nursing home while searching for an accessible place to which she could be discharged. For three years, Harry lived in a first-floor apartment with five or six steps leading to the door, dragging himself and his wheelchair up and down those steps multiple times a day until an accessible unit became available. Think about it. What would you do if put into these situations (assuming you haven’t been already)?

As Vermont figures out how to increase the state’s housing stock, let’s not forget the need for plentiful accessible housing.

Charlie Murphy

Bennington


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