Founding and Early Years
Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio (MAHO) was formed in 1981 to address the need for accessible, affordable housing for people with physical mobility disabilities. Until 2007, our organization was known as Maximum Independent Living (MIL); the name was changed to better reflect our focus on accessibility and housing.
From 1981 to 1998, MAHO concentrated its efforts on developing the Vistas Apartment Communities in Northeast Ohio specifically designed to give people with mobility disabilities the opportunity to live on their own. This resulted in five fully accessible apartment communities in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Lorain Counties. At the Vistas, more than 150 people with mobility disabilities to live life to the fullest. MAHO continues to own and operate these communities.
In 1998, MAHO shifted focus to a leadership role in advocacy and education around accessible housing. This initiative, was called the Accessible Housing Resource Center (AHRC) and had multiple successes. We provided training on accessible housing to hundreds of people and organizations; a number of them have started to regularly use accessibility features. Collaboratively, MAHO was instrumental in starting the successful on-line searchable affordable housing database known as housingcleveland.org. MAHO continues to serve on numerous advisory committees on local, state, and federal levels.
In 2013, the AHRC was renamed the Anderson Center for Accessible Living. We are developing new plans and activities for this program. Although MAHO works successfully with many other agencies, both in the disability and housing fields, MAHO is the only agency that focuses on accessible housing. This enables MAHO to get the disability agencies to think about housing and the housing agencies to think about people with disabilities.