Cardinal Innovations Funds Study to Build First IDD-Inclusive Community in North Carolina

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — April 20, 2021
Charlotte, NC – April 20, 2021 – Of the more than 62,000 North Carolinians with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), three-quarters rely heavily on family members for housing and support. With help from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, the first-of-its-kind community in the state specifically designed to meet the holistic life needs of these residents will move one step closer to reality.

HOPE, North Carolina, Inc. (Housing Options for People with Exceptionalities) received a $45,000 Community Reinvestment Grant from Cardinal Innovations for planning the project.

The Chapel Hill-based non-profit envisions a multi-generational, mixed-income development for people with and without disabilities. The community is being intentionally planned to facilitate self-determination, larger social networks and more friends, increased community inclusion and participation, more chances to develop and maintain skills that foster independence, and a better, quality standard of living for adults with IDD.

HOPE was founded by three parents out of concern for the future of their adult sons with IDD. The organization has since grown to 200+ family members and advocates.

“HOPE North Carolina is grateful to Cardinal Innovations Healthcare for the grant, which will help fund the next steps and collaborations with community leaders that will move our project forward,” said Dotty Foley, HOPE’s President. “Receiving the Community Reinvestment grant from Cardinal Innovations empowers HOPE to continue to work toward creating an inclusive community where all individuals, including those with developmental disabilities, can live meaningful and purposeful lives. We invite others who recognize the need for this to join us in our efforts.”

“Cardinal Innovations stands with HOPE as they pursue bold, creative solutions for our neighbors living with an intellectual or developmental disability,” said Cardinal Innovations CEO Trey Sutten. “We share HOPE’s belief that everyone should have the choice to live in a community where differences are accepted and all individuals are valued.”

A quarter of the project’s housing will be set aside for adults with IDD, and rents will be affordable for those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The remaining units will be priced with affordable or market-rate rents and marketed to families and older adults. Amenities will include ready access to public transportation, grocery stores, retail, recreation and employment opportunities for all residents. The project will also include an on-site community facilitator who will encourage and support neighbor-to-neighbor social connections.

More than 25 percent of the family providers for adults with IDD in the state are over the age of 60. Concern about the long-term wellbeing of their loved ones, especially limited housing options, was a major catalyst for HOPE, North Carolina’s initiative. The organization will use the community reinvestment funds to refine the concept, build organizational capacity and support, and identify a developer partnership for the planned community.

About Cardinal Innovations Healthcare:
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is a specialized health plan and care coordinator for Medicaid recipients and the under- and uninsured in North Carolina with complex behavioral and special needs. Cardinal Innovations connects people with treatment and support for mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders through a network of providers in their communities. The organization serves this important role in 20 counties. In 2020, Cardinal Innovations administered nearly $850 million for the care of 825,000 people in the region and invested more than $50 million to improve support systems and to respond to the pandemic. Cardinal Innovations also works with local governments to address public health concerns such as homelessness, suicide prevention, child welfare and domestic violence through education, engagement and outreach.

About HOPE (Housing Options for People With Exceptionalities):
HOPE is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create an affordable, inclusive community where all individuals, including those with developmental disabilities, can live a meaningful and purposeful life. HOPE is working to assemble the partners and gather the public and private resources needed to realize this vision in the Triangle area.

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