It’s My Turn to Relate My Apartment Hunt

OK, now it’s my turn. It must be apartment-hunting time.
I have to give up my apartment in Rego Park, Queens. In 2004, I was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In 2005, I spent $5,000 to have the tub ripped out to install a stall shower. But the time has come when I need a wheelchair to get into the bathroom, and the wheelchair doesn’t fit.

So I am looking for an apartment in Manhattan, and it must be accessible. Well, nobody seems to know what “accessible” means. It means something roomy enough to move my motorized wheelchair around, and it means a bathroom door that is not half the size of the other doors. There are apartments built for the disabled, but the waiting-lists are 10 years long. We never think anything will happen to us like a disabling disease. But it does! It happened to me, and if you think the NYC rental market is tight, try looking for a decent-size studio or one-bedroom for under $2500/month with a bathroom and kitchen wide enough for a wheelchair!! I don’t mean to play “let’s top this” but with the population aging and living longer, and people like me surviving past the 2-5 years’ life expectancy of an ALS patient, we really do need to make NYC more “accessible”!

2 Comments so far

  1. RN (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 3:49 am

    There just has to be standards developers must abide by. They are building them smaller and smaller; balloon to a size 8 and you won’t get into the front door!

    There has to exist in NYC an advocacy group that can you with securing appropriate housing.

    I was checking out affordable housing lotteries, and notice that these buildings (usually new constr) typically reserve a portion of these apts for the disabled. The application would ask whether you would require special accomodation, like if you’re visually disabled or mobility-impaired, and mgmt would equip your living space according to your needs.

  2. Fern (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 10:29 am

    I appreciate this comment and enter every lottery I can. Like the other NY lottery, no luck yet. And HUD waiting-lists are 10 years long. For someone with a life-expectancy of anywhere from a year to six years more, that is just not practical. Something has to change.

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