Frequently Asked Questions

What is Villa de Vida?  

Villa de Vida is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enable adults with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible by building residential communities with a resident service coordinator and community enriched activities that meet the needs of each resident.

  • Safe housing
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Meaningful relationships

What is your tax-exempt status?  

Villa de Vida has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to us are deductible under section 170 of the Code. We are also qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 47-0988154.

What is the critical need? 

It is estimated that there are 4.9 million individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the United States about 590,000 in the state of California. 

The number of people served by California Department of Developmental Services increased by 37.7% since January 2004 to January 2014 while California’s general population increased by 8.3% around the same time period.

About 71.5% of people with developmental disabilities are currently receiving residential care from family caregivers. As these caregivers age, the question of “what is going to happen to this child when I die?” is inevitable. While there are various types of supportive living communities in California addressing this issue, there is just not enough to meet the growing demand.

“And because this is the first time in human history that so many persons with I/DD are outliving parents who have historically functioned as their primary caregivers (at present, 25% of caregivers are over age 60), policymakers are scrambling for solutions.”

Source: Center for Healthcare Strategies Report 2012

Is there a prototype community you are trying to learn from? 

Yes! There are many great communities which we learn from, below is a list of only a few;

  • The ARC Jacksonville, Florida located at 1050 North Davis Street. The Arc Jacksonville Village is an affordable, independent-living, apartment-style neighborhood designed to maximize community inclusion for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At The Arc Jacksonville Village, residents realize their potential to live full, meaningful, inclusive and independent lives. The Arc Jacksonville Village lifestyle encourages independent living, socializing and sharing among community members AND promotes community engagement to enjoy the educational, employment and recreational opportunities found throughout the thriving metropolitan Jacksonville area.
  • The Mercy Project, a California Limited Partnership. Mercy Housing Management Group (MHMG) is the managing agent. Here the Arc San Francisco CA has been designated as the onsite Resident Services provider and will coordinate resident services for the individuals and families living at the property. Mercy Housing Management Group makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with special needs so that they are able to live, work, and/or receive services adequately and comfortably. These accommodations may include, but are not limited to, requirements related to visual, audio, language, ergonomic, physical, psychiatric, and other medical needs. These accommodations may be offered to any individual who requires them and who would otherwise not be able to live, work or access services in this particular environment. It is the intent of this policy to create a life, work, and service delivery environment which is respectful of all people's differences and special needs, and to make all reasonable accommodations in order to welcome diverse perspectives.
  • Casa de Amma  “Casa” in San Juan Capistrano, CA is a privately funded and operated development prototype community that successfully addresses the needs of adults with developmental disabilities. Casa improves the quality of developmentally disabled adults and that of the surrounding communities as well. 

Does Villa de Vida have a development partner? 

Yes!  Mercy Housing is a national non-profit organization that has participated in the development, preservation and/or financing of more than 45,000 affordable homes. Mercy Housing California (MHC), the largest division of Mercy Housing, Inc., has developed and manages nearly 8,000 affordable rental units in 128 properties throughout the state. Please visit www.mercyhousing.org for more information.

Where are you going to build your community? 

On June 2nd, 2015, Villa de Vida entered into an exclusive negotiating rights agreement with the City of Poway in San Diego County to build a 54-unit apartment complex. The agreement seeks to pursue further discussions and negotiations with the City of Poway to evaluate the possibility of developing a 3.18 acre site in Paguay Redevelopment Project Area, consistent with the city’s plan to revitalize the area, provide affordable housing, and bring economic and employment benefits to the city.

The development, subject to further due diligence, approval and permitting, would target completion in 2020.  

Do you give preferences to volunteers or donors?

NO. While we appreciate the generosity of our volunteers and/or donors, we CANNOT give preferences.  We have to comply with Fair Housing and other regulatory standards depending on our funding sources.

How do I qualify to live at Villa de Vida?

Villa de Vida recognizes that the great majority of persons with developmental challenges need to have their incomes supplemented by family, philanthropic and public funds. Therefore, Villa de Vida is partially financed by public funds available only to low income housing projects. Such projects are frequently referred to as “permanent subsidized housing.” All of the apartment homes come with a voucher from the San Diego County. All residents will need to qualify and be on the San Diego County Project Based Voucher list and have indicated that they are disabled.  Please go to the following website: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/sdhcd/rental-assistance.html or contact:  Housing & Community Development Services, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency at 858-694-4801.

Who is a “Typical Resident” at Villa de Vida Poway?

We have determined that a typical resident at Villa de Vida Poway would either be a current or potential client of the San Diego Regional Center. They could also qualify by having a diagnosis of Developmental Disability by a qualified professional or be able to show evidence of a qualifying IEP. The definition below was taken directly from the SDRC (San Diego Regional Center) website.

Developmental Disability– According to the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 4512 a developmental disability originates before an individual attains 18 years of age; continues, or can be expected to continue, indefinitely; and constitutes a substantial disability for that individual. As defined by the Director of Developmental Services, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, this term shall include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. This term shall also include disabling conditions found to be closely related to intellectual disability or to require treatment similar to that required for individuals with an intellectual disability, but shall not include other handicapping conditions that are solely physical in nature.

I have more questions about Villa de Vida.  Who can I contact?

Please contact us at info@villadevida.org.