Ben Waggoner and James Fraser left comments regarding the ten percent rule described in the article “Providing a Safer Environment.”  I was afraid that someone might miss them.  Therefore, I felt they deserved their own post.  I only wish I had said what they said, as well as they said it.  Thanks Ben and James for adding to the discussion.   First, is what Waggoner had to say.  Then read Fraser’s comments.

I do not know how I managed to go this long without hearing about the 10% rule until now, but I am stunned that anyone would think for five seconds that it is an advisable idea –or is even acceptable– to pass a law of that nature. In a document produced for the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, this rationalization is offered:

“Historically, people in group homes and other congregate settings have not “fit into” their neighborhood due to the obvious difference in their home (e.g. vans in the driveway, people going in and out, etc.). If neighborhoods become “communities of individuals in supported living”, they too will have difficulty truly becoming part of their community.”

While that may have sounded altruistic or high-minded to the author when he or she wrote it, the truth is that it is nothing more than an elitist control measure.

Groups of people who share similar challenges may gravitate toward neighborhoods that are close to health facilities or other service providers that can meet their needs, or which are close to their employment or their family. They may choose to share a home for mutual assistance, or live near each other because they have common interests, need camaraderie, or want to live within walking or cycling distance of [insert destination here]. In fact, individuals with disabilities are likely to choose where they want to live based on criteria that parallel, or may even be identical to, those used by the person who wrote the above paragraph.

The 10% density rule reads (in part):
“The homes of recipients receiving supported living shall account for no more than ten percent of the housing in the smallest identifiable geographical area in which the homes are located, which may be a city block, subdivision, neighborhood, apartment complex or mobile home park. The recipients’ homes shall be scattered, non-contiguous, and dispersed throughout the area.”

What possible justification can there be for dictating how many law-abiding citizens may be permitted to find housing in a certain neighborhood or subdivision? These are people we’re talking about. These are not cattle that threaten to over-graze our shared a pasture lands. They are citizens who have hopes and dreams and own the same rights as the bureaucrats who seek to impinge on their freedom. If our government were to attempt to apply a restriction such as this to any other segment of the population, the National Guard would deploy _in_support_of_ all the riots in the streets, not to quell them.

“The homes of blacks shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Jews shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Puerto Ricans shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Irish immigrants shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Catholics shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Muslims shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Baptists shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of diabetics shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of amputees shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of quadriplegics shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of ignorant bureaucrats shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

Welcome to your new job with an alphabet-soup government agency. Who would you like to discriminate against today?

 Finally, from James Fraser:

I agree with Ben Waggoner on this.

This is beyond unconstitutional. It is discrimination, and of the worst kind – it puts undue burdens on those who can barely get by as it is. When I heard about this, I was flabbergasted, and at a complete loss to understand how anyone could conscionably pass such a heinous law. It is cruel and callous. It isolates those who already suffer a burden of loneliness; it impairs access to help facilities for those who are already impaired in their mobility; it separates families and imposes an unnecessary strain on the social support systems of its victims.