Group aims to make Jefferson City more handicap friendly

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JEFFERSON CITY - A group in Jefferson City is trying to make the city more disabled friendly.

ADA coordinator for the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) Jeremy Murray said disabled accessible housing can be difficult to find.

"We get phone calls about people wanting to move to Jeff City and needing accessible housing and there's just not a large stock of accessible housing in Jefferson City and that's one of the things I'm passionate about now- is making the community accessible for everyone," Murray said.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires accessible accommodations for disabled individuals.

Murray said the ILRC is in the process of buildings ramps for homes, providing disabled people with access to more housing.

The first meeting for the group was in May, the second in July, and the third meeting is scheduled for sometime in September.

The Jefferson City Housing Authority said some buildings can not be renovated 

"The earlier projects, or neighborhoods, that were developed back in the '50s and '60s, those were all surveyed roughly the same time about 20 years ago by the Independent Resource, who are pushing the current initiative," said Executive Director of the Housing Authority Allen Pollock. "One of our complexes was declared that it can not be handicap accessible. We can get people to the front door, but the living area is a split level. So we can't do anything but totally rebuild those units."

Pollock said the decision to start building homes the past 20 years wasn't just altruistic.

"It was a HUD requirement. And that requirement that 10 percent of the units that were developed went on the books and came off the books, but we've just always built them so that there are accessible units and easily converted to make them accessible."

The ILRC offers community surveys of buildings and homes for no cost, and complies with the ADA to remove barriers with minimal cost.