Meg Casey
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"Most Able Disabled"

Meg Casey's handicapped issues column

Apartments for the Handicapped

Meg Casey
March 2, 1983

Dear Meg,

Do they have apartments for the disabled. How much and where?

John P

Dear John P

What are you, a wise guy? You think you’re playing stump the stars? Do I look like a quarry worker?

Well, I tell you, I've turned over more rocks for you than one has and my answer is "Nope!" Not under anything I've looked under. … You’re living in an inaccessible world, Buddy. If God wanted ramps all over the place, he would put them there to start with. So you just better sit there suffering and like it, you hear? … Only kidding!

Actually I'm only partially kidding with you because some of the responses I got over the telephone were just about same one I used on you clowning around in my frustration. And I was only looking into it for you! I can't imagine what condition I be in if it were for me.

Housing for the disabled, accessible housing, is pretty limited, practically nonexistent in Milford, and generally restricted in most areas to the elderly and handicapped housing projects or Section Eight housing. Both are for a low income.

I contacted the Milford Housing Authority the office of Milford building inspector in order to get the lay of the land here in town but the pickings were really slim.

The gentleman I spoke with mentioned only the new Joseph DeMaio Project off of Meadowside Road where there are seven accessible apartments in the main building and three accessible units in the new housing complex just completed in front of the main one. These are all for the low income elderly and the handicapped citizens. The maximum yearly income allowed for single person is $11,610 and for a couple, $13,230. (And there are waiting lists.)

Rent in Section Eight Housing is based on the individual’s monthly income and would be 30% of whatever the sum of money is.

There isn’t much of it in Milford so I branched out to neighboring cities and enlisted the aid of the Bridgeport Office of Handicapped Services and the Center of Independent Living of Greater Bridgeport and that of RESPOND in New Haven. Each of these agencies replaced kindly and quickly, sending me lists of the available accessible housing projects in their areas. Call that MIDP office at 783–3282 for this information.

However, again these projects are for low income senior citizen and handicapped persons.

It seems there are no provisions anywhere for the disabled, middle class, independent wage earner for today. You must be either very poor to live independently, or very rich. That's rich enough to afford an elevatored, pushbutton penthouse or able to buy yourself a human chain that can simply "pass you around through life."

I can I can't help but wonder why the government waste so much my funding rehabilitation centers for independent living skills when there is no "reality" to add to the incentive of the actual physical achievement. After applause stops, then what?

I asked this question of my state representative, who is also my brother, T. J. Casey. He told me that there are many bills going before that legislature dealing with the issues of importance to the disabled and that housing is a big issue. But there is still no glimpse of relief in sight for the disabled person who is young, lively and active and who would like to be living in an environment conducive to that lifestyle, too. I can just see me living in an elderly housing facility. I’s drive the neighbors crazy. (I DO drive my neighbors crazy.)

T. J. recommended that I contact her recommended that I contact Senator Lowell Weicker’s office regarding this matter. They recommended that I write a letter to Sen. Weicker, at 915 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport 06606, and address my feelings on the subject. That would provide a piece of a tangible evidence of the constituents concern.

This of course I will do, and maybe if you write to him also, maybe others who read this will write. Then maybe, someday we'll see some results. Maybe …

Milford Polished-Marble
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photographs and other content courtesy of the Casey family unless noted
blog posts and art by Meg Casey
originally published 1982 to 1985 in the Milford Citizen newspaper
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