MCIL Independent Living Housing Tool

MCIL will assist with housing advocacy, information and referral.

MCIL can share local housing options and resources with you, but the Center is not a residential facility, real estate agency or housing locating service. 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.

    • MCIL will advocate for housing accommodations related to your disability;

    • MCIL can assist you to overcome barriers because of your disability; and

    • MCIL can refer you to local housing services and agencies.

This tool is to share how Independent Living can help you with housing. MCIL does not provide rental or utility assistance.

Three steps to Housing 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.

Volunteer Ramp builders

Birth Certificate

814 Jefferson Ave.

Room 101 - 103

Memphis, TN 38103

Phone: (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

Lois Curtis speaks to ADAPT advocates

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.

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

TOTAL INCOME _______________


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. 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.

Housing Balance Sheet

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

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) at (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 at (901) 436-4332

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