Media Contacts and Material Requests:
George Braddock, Creative Housing Solutions,, (541) 953-6219
Kaarin Knudson, Rowell Brokaw Architects,, (541) 485-1003

September 6, 2011


Making Homes That Work: A Resource Guide for Families Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder + Co-occurring Behaviors

A new resource for policymakers, caseworkers and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and co-occurring behaviors.

Developed by Creative Housing Solutions LLC and Rowell Brokaw Architects PC, “Making Homes That Work” explains how conventional housing often fails families and individuals experiencing significant ASD, and how appropriate, cost-effective modifications to the home environment can support an individual with disability living a more independent, self-directed life.

“This resource guide makes the case for including environmental assessment and home modifications in person-centered planning,” write George Braddock and John Rowell, authors of the guide. “Traditionally, the environment has been viewed as neutral, and assistance for families in crisis has focused on human supports. This project challenges the prevailing assumptions that human supports alone are enough. It suggests that the right physical environment can help individuals and families experiencing ASD and co-occurring behaviors to live full, meaningful and rich self-directed lives, thereby making human supports more effective.”

“Making Homes That Work” includes a step-by-step process by which caregivers can assess the home environment and implement modifications that are person-centered, and that respect the diversity of family and individual situations. The guide identifies patterns of activity and interaction that are common to many people with significant ASD, and documents the “Six Most Common Modifications” that support individuals with ASD remaining in the family home. Strategies that address the “Specific Challenges” of co-occurring behavior and aggression are also included.

The methods and recommendations presented in the guide are drawn from the authors’ 25 years of experience working on more than 1,500 projects for families and individuals experiencing disability. A series of Case Studies show how families have modified their homes and seen substantial improvements in quality of life and their ability to live together. Graphic cost comparisons illustrate how environmental modifications with inhome supports cost remarkably little in comparison with out-of-home placement.

“People experiencing significant ASD can continue to live in their own homes for as long as they wish—provided they have appropriate support and they have the right physical environment,” write the authors. This project was funded by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) with support from Lucinda Grant-Griffin, director of the Office of Housing Initiatives & Supports. It was made possible by the pioneering efforts of families who have transformed their homes and shared their experiences.


George Braddock, President of Creative Housing Solutions LLC, has pioneered the application of person-centered planning principles to the design and construction of homes for people with disabilities. John Rowell, AIA, NCARB, is a principal of Rowell Brokaw Architects, PC. in Eugene, Oregon, and a licensed architect in four states. He has been designing and researching environments for persons with developmental disabilities for 15 years, many in collaboration with George Braddock.