Photo Credit: The NY Alliance

All persons over the age of 18 are deemed to have legal capacity unless and until a guardian has been appointed for them by a court, so they are entitled to make choices as to their housing, and to enter into leases or contracts for purchase of housing regardless of intellectual or developmental disability.

Supported Decision-Making Agreements (SDMAs) are contracts entered into by persons with intellectual disabilities after a facilitation process, designating individuals to support them in various ways and in various domains. Although SDMAs do not yet have legal status in New York, landlords and other housing providers should accept and rely upon SDMAS as contracts made by persons with legal capacity, and allow named supporters to assist the potential renter/purchaser in the ways provided for in the SDMA.