The Housing and Community-Living Landscape for People with Developmental Disabilities in Nevada

June 28, 2024

Since the Great Recession, securing affordable housing has become increasingly difficult for Americans -- and Nevadans -- posing a significant challenge for policymakers. Extensive research has informed decision-making on various housing issues, including affordability, supply and demand, wealth building through property ownership, and the needs of specific populations such as seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities.

However, the housing and community-living needs of people with developmental disabilities (DD) remain underexamined. As one study commissioned by the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities observed,

“[W]hat makes the DD community’s housing crisis unique is its seeming invisibility to the general public, policymakers, and legislative bodies. While other communities, such as veterans and the homeless population, have aggressively entered the public arena to describe and advocate for their needs, the DD community’s needs are less recognized and understood.”

While this viewpoint may not wholly capture the circumstances of people with DD in Nevada, how well their interests are represented in the Legislature, or the sufficiency of advocacy efforts. However, the feeling of being invisible to the general public and the sense that the community’s needs are not adequately recognized or understood are consistent themes for people with DD who spoke to the Guinn Center about their experiences.

This study, commissioned by the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (NGCDD), evaluates the community-living needs and resources for people with DD in Nevada. It aims to provide an overview of the current housing and support landscape and suggests several policy considerations and areas for future research.