MCIL Independent Living Housing Tool

MCIL can share local housing options and resources with you, but the Center is not a residential facility. In fact, our mission is integration, to make sure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else, not segregated or special housing. This tool is to share how Independent Living can help you with housing. MCIL does not provide rental or utility assistance. 

Three steps to Independence
Independent Living can help you practice the skills to keep your home and learn the skills you need to remain independent. MCIL will focus on the barriers that you and other people with disabilities face because of a disability. MCIL is a resource so that our community will be welcoming and inclusive. You may plan with an Independent Living Specialist the personal and individual goals that will help you overcome barriers because of your disability. With others you can help us to end the discrimination that we all face to equal participation in all aspects of civic life.

Step One: Have the right documentation.

In your search for housing you are likely to be required to have photo identification, a Social Security card, proof of income and housing references. You may be asked for a birth certificate and detailed qualifying information like Veteran status, benefit amounts and other qualifications.

Birth Certificate
814 Jefferson Ave.
Room 101 - 103
Memphis, TN  38103
Ph: (901) 222-9693
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Social Security Card
(800)-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

State ID
Shelby County Clerk MV Services
150 Washington Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3000
Whitehaven DOS
3200 E. Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38118
(866) 849-3548

Memphis Driver License Reinstatement
3200 East Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38118
(901) 367-3639
Summer Ave. Driver Services
6340 Summer Ave.
Memphis, TN 38134
(901) 543-7920

DOS Driver License Station
5019 W. Union Road
Millington, TN 38053
(901) 745-7020

Step Two: Budget

Work with an Independent Living Specialist to budget for a new place to live. How much do you have to spend? What minimal requirements do you have for an apartment? Do you need public transportation or reasonable modifications because of your disability? Know what you need and what compromises you can make in your housing search. Plan now, before you move the cost of truck or friends to help you move.

Know your rental health. Landlords may examine your:

  •     Rental History. If you have an eviction or owe money you may have limited options.
  •     Financial History. A landlord may ask for a credit check.
  •     Criminal Background. Many apartments will do a background check and may not rent to people with certain records.
It is best to know what may not look good in your rental history to a prospective landlord. Know your rental health.

Proof of Income
(800)-772-1213 TTY (800)-325-0778

US Social Security Administration
Address: 1330 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
Phone: (866) 336-2212
Hours: 9AM–4PM

Memphis Social Security Office
Address: 3602 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis, TN 38128
Phone: (855) 420-8557
Hours: 9AM–4PM

US Social Security Administration
Address: 3461 S 3rd St, Memphis, TN 38109
Phone: (855) 782-9155
Hours: 9AM–4PM

Tennessee Felony Offender Information:


A budget is a plan for how you wish to spend the money you have.  Budgets may be changeable; you may think of a daily, monthly, or yearly budget. If you don’t plan for how you want to spend your money, you may find that you end up not having money for the highest priority things.

First, you must know how much money you have. 


Income is money that you have coming in.  Sources of income can include social security benefits, paychecks, grants, allowances, child support, TANF, stocks, pensions, food stamps, unemployment benefits, savings bonds, and many more.


Expenses are money you have going out.  This includes rent, groceries, laundry, transportation, child care, telephone, utility bills, clothing, cable, internet access, medication, insurance, credit cards, student loans, attendant care services, going out to eat or seeing a movie, and many other items. 

Some expenses are set, like your rent. Rent is most likely the same amount each month, a set expense that you know you need to have the full amount when it is due. Other expenses may vary and you must estimate how much you need to have on hand to cover those costs.

NOTE:  If you aren’t sure of how much you spend during a month, put every receipt you receive in an envelope.  If you don’t get a receipt, write the amount you spent down and what it was for on a piece of paper and include it in the envelope. At the end of the month count it all up and that will give you an idea of where to categorize your money.  It will also enable you to track your expenses and make changes to your budget.

Use the following categories to guide you in making a budget. An Independent Living Specialist at MCIL can help you create a budget.

Sources of income

 Type of income
Social Security Benefits 
AFDC Benefits
Child Support  
Other sources

TOTAL INCOME            _______________


 Type of Expense
 Rent or mortgage 
 Personal Attendant 
 Medical (Medicine) 
 Other expenses 

TOTAL EXPENSES        _______________

Any money left over should be used to build up your savings.  Even if it is just $5 a month, it can be used for emergencies or retirement.  No amount is too small.

You may also make a budget to estimate what you have available for rent or transportation. Determine how much income you have and use your experience to predict how much you will spend in each of the categories below. Estimate what you really need and want. The budget is a tool to help you spend your money on what you want.

For example: estimate what you want to spend in all the categories except for rent. The balance remaining will tell you how much you have to spend on rent.

Examine the totals in the estimate you made. If you could spend less on cable to help you afford an apartment you prefer, the budget may help you prioritize what you spend your funds on.

Step Three: Plan your move

Work with an IL Specialist to plan. Make a timeline, work with a map and make the calls you need to get a home that will work for you. Much of the information is on the Internet and information is changing all the time. Make a plan to get timely information on your housing search.

Below is a list of Libraries and their locations in which you can use the computers to access the Internet.
  • Bartlett: 5884 Stage Rd. (901)386-8968
  • Central: 3030 Poplar Ave (901)415-2700
  • Cherokee: 3300 Sharpe Ave (901)415-2762
  • Cordova: 8457 Trinity Rd. (901)415-2764
  • Cornelia Crenshaw: 531 Vance St. (901)415-2765
  • Whitehaven: 4120 Mill Branch Rd. (901)415-2781
  • East Shelby: 7200 E. Shelby Dr. (901)415-2767
  • Frayser: 3712 Argonne St. (901)415-2768
  • Gaston Park: 1040 S. 3rd St (901)415-2769
  • Levi: 3676 US Hwy 61 (S. 3rd St) (901)415-2773
  • Parkway Village: 4655 Knight Arnold (901)415-2776
  • Poplar-White Station: 5094 Poplar Ave: (901)415-2777
  • North: 1192 Vollintine Ave (901)415-2775
  • Raleigh: 3157 Powers Rd. (901)415-2778
  • Randolph: 3752 Powers Rd. (901)415-2779
  • South: 1929 Smith Third St. (901)415-2780
  • Cossitt: 33 S. Front St. (901)526-1712
Fair Market Housing Sites 

Subsidized Housing
This is income based housed and generally it is 30% of your income to calculate the amount simply take your income and multiply it by .30 Example: $733.00 a month x 0.30 = $219.9 (rent). Qualifications for this type of housing is based on your disability, age, and family status

Specialized Housing
Salvation Army, Angela Barksley

Friends for Life, 43 N Cleveland St, Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 272-0855

Veteran Services provided by VA Medical Center, 600 Poplar AVE
(901) 746-8902


MCIL works with HOPE and other community groups to make sure that people with disabilities have equal access services for people who are homeless.

Home Organizing For Power & Equality (HOPE)
(901) 300-0006
Mid-South Peace & Justice at 901-725-4990

Memphis and Shelby County Emergency Housing Hotline
MIFA 910 Vance Avenue
Memphis, TN 38126
(901) 529-4545

For Issues with your Landlord

Memphis Area Legal Services
(901) 436-4332

*MCIL does not provide rental, utility assistance or help moving.