Building a Home

Building a Home 2016

The Northeast region of Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change is proud to announce:

Building A Home, A Housing Conference For Families

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Andover Country Club, 60 Canterbury St, Andover, MA


Registration – and our vendor fair – open at 8AM, with the conference beginning at 9AM



Select presentations from this event are now availalble online (see below).


The world of housing for people with disabilities continues to change around us. Families and individuals are demanding greater movement towards housing based on the needs of the individual, and federal policy continues to move away from building congregate settings. If we all agree this is the way to move forward, how do we work with funders, developers and state and local agencies to create truly individualized, integrated housing for everyone?

Keynote Speaker

Our keynote speaker, Joe Wykowski, will speak on “Re-Thinking the Future of Housing; the Changing Landscape of Integrated Housing for People with Disabilities“. Joe is the Executive Director of Community Vision, a Portland Oregon-based organization that provides an array of person-centered supports to individuals with disabilities to assist them to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice. In addition to his work at Community Vision, Joe is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and is a past executive board member of TASH, past president of the Oregon Home ownership Collaborative and has served in many other organizations. He consults with various housing coalitions across the country concerning the creation of individual housing opportunities and personal supports with persons with disabilities. For registration information and a full description of our conference, including our many breakout session speakers, please click here. We hope to see you there!


Our luncheon speaker, State Senator Barbara L’Italien
will talk about “the Power of Advocacy”

Barbara is the past chair of the Massachusetts Commission on Autism, and co-wrote and championed the Autism Omnibus bill that became law in 2014.


Registration – and our vendor fair – will open at 8AM, with the conference beginning at 9AM. A full lunch and continental breakfast will be included.


Breakout Sessions

  1. The Big Picture Planning Guide to Housing: What You Need to Know with Kerry Mahoney, Director of Education, Outreach and SUPPORTbrokers of The Arc of Massachusetts
  2. Parent & Self-Advocate Panel: How We Moved Out, What Was Important and What Didn’t Really Matter, moderated by Jeff Keilson, Senior VP at Advocates, Inc.
  3. Choice and Control: Options for Using Your Program Funds with Buddy Bostick, Chief Program Officer of the Arc of Greater Haverhill Newburyport
  4. Setting Up For Success: What Supports Do They Need?
  5. What You Need to Know About SSI, SSDI and Related Health Benefits with Linda Landry, Senior Attorney of the Disability Law Center
  6. The Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants and Landlords with Tom Murphy, Senior Attorney at the Disability Law Center
  7. Accessory Apartments: What They Are, Why They Work and How To Get Started with Alex Nadworny of Shephard Financial Partners
  8. New Ways in Housing: Creating A Place Called Home with keynote speaker Joe Wykowski and parent Alicia DeLashmutt, founder of Our Home – Inclusive Community Collaborative
  9. Everything You Need To Know About Section 8 with Susan Nohl, Deputy Director at Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
  10. Funding Streams For The 85% Who Do Not Receive Residential Support with Cathy Boyle, Founder and CEO of Autism Housing Pathways
  11. Parent Panel: We Needed More Intensive Supports…Here’s How We Did It
  12. Person Centered Planning: What It Is and Why It’s Crucial For Independent Living with Cheryl Ryan Chan, Principal Facilitator of Person Centered Planning Partners

While it’s important to chose sessions of interest to you, we have created a few tracks that you may follow:

  • Getting Started, for families just starting on their housing journey: Sessions 1, 5 and 12
  • Supporting The Vision, for families planning needed supports: Sessions 4, 8 and 12
  • Our Shared Experience, for families who want to learn from others: Sessions 2, 7, and 11
  • Getting Into the Details, for families who are well into their housing journey: Sessions 3 or 4, 6 and 9
  • How Do We Pay For It? for families working to finance housing: Sessions 3, 5, and 10

Please note that tickets are not refundable, although they are transferable. The Andover Country Club is fully accessible; if you need accommodations, please note them in your registration. We look forward to seeing you there!