For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, Deaf Independent Living Association, Inc. (DILA) manages ten specially designed houses in Salisbury, Easton and Berlin, Maryland. These homes were purchased by Deaf Independent Residences, Inc. (DIR) through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 8/202 program. DILA has licensed houses under the State of Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) as Alternative Living Units (ALUs) for people with hearing loss.
ABOUT ALTERNATIVE LIVING UNITS
Featuring daily residential support and special modifications, ALUs help occupants acquire basic skills for independent living, including money management and employment assistance. While DILA staff members do not actually live in the ALUs, they do provide ongoing support based on the tenant’s independent living program plan.
Each house accommodates a maximum of three residents who are grouped according to functional ability. ALUs include a private bedroom for each resident and a communal kitchen, dining, living room, bathroom and laundry room. Individuals are assigned a specific ALU based on their unique needs and preferences. Occupants are responsible for all food and personal expenses, and rent is based on HUD guidelines.
All ALUs are located in safe, friendly neighborhoods and feature special accommodations for occupants, including a flashing light system to signal a fire alarm, ringing telephone, and doorbell.
Deaf and hard of hearing individuals must meet the eligibility requirements to live in one of the ALUs.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS (HUD & DILA/DIR)
- Completed HUD Section 8 Housing form
- Elderly or disabled
- On a very low to extremely low income
- U.S. Citizenship or eligible immigration status
- Clear Criminal Background Check
- Deaf or hard of hearing
- 18 years or older
- Willing to accept independent living services.
- Employed or actively seeking employment
- Referred by the DDA or an out-of-state agency (some exceptions apply)
- Good Landlord References
- Willing to share common areas of the house