FAQ about Independent Living Housing

What is an independent living?

An independent living is a privately-owned or operated home or complex that provides shared housing for adults with disabilities, including mental illness, and others who may benefit from a shared living environment. Tenants in independent livings are able to live independently, are often on a fixed income, and do not need supervision or care from their landlord.

Who lives in independent livings?

Independent livings serve tenants that benefit from shared housing, that do not need medication oversight and are able to live independently. Many independent livings offer housing for people recovering from mental illness, or those that may benefit from the structure and fellowship of a shared housing environment.

Independent Livings are not able to accept or retain tenants who demonstrate the need for care and supervision, including tenants that need assistance with:

  • activities of daily living including dressing, grooming, mobility (e.g. wheelchair bound needed assistance with mobility or transfers in/out of bed), bathing and hygiene
  • managing medication or assistance with prescriptions or pharmacies
  • storing medications
  • arranging medical and dental care
  • monitoring food intake or special diets
  • handling tenant’s monies

For more information, please reference the State of California’s Community Care Licensing’s When A License is Needed Guidelines: Click here for PDF.

How are independent livings funded?

Independent livings are private homes or complexes. Similar to apartment homes, tenants sign rental agreements and pay monthly rent.

Are independent livings licensed?

No. Because independent livings do not provide care and supervision to tenants, they do not require a license to operate.

Why do we need Independent Livings in California?

Independent livings provide an invaluable service to the community by providing housing options for people with mental illness that fit their level of independence. Access to quality housing is one of the most effective ways to encourage recovery and help those that suffer from mental illness live a full and meaningful life.

FAQ about the Independent Living Association (ILA)

What Quality Standards must ILA Members adhere to?

The ILA Quality Standards are a comprehensive set of best practices recommended for independent livings.

Does the ILA monitor members to ensure their continued compliance with ILA Quality Standards?

ILA members participate in an annual Peer Review and Accountability Team home visit, to ensure their compliance with the ILA Quality Standards and to provide them with coaching and resources to improve their independent living.

Can the ILA recommend a reputable Independent Living for me?

Yes, you can search the ILA Directory for ILA members. ILA membership demonstrates trust and quality; all ILA members must meet the ILA Quality Standards to qualify for membership.

Does the ILA resolve tenant or community complaints?

Click here to visit our online complaint form or call 858-609-7979 to file a complaint over the phone. ILA is not able to address complaints of non-members homes. If a complaint is made against a member home, ILA can only address complaints against ILA membership requirements and Quality Standards.

How is the ILA funded?

The Independent Living Association is facilitated by Community Health Improvement Partners and funded by various agencies in the different counties we operate.