Published on June 11th, 2021
Halfway are critical parts of the criminal justice system and the drug use and mental health departments.
These establishments provide a conducive environment for ex-convicts, recovering drug users, and victims of domestic violence, where they act as sanctuaries before reintegrating into society.
In Illinois, these establishments are especially important considering the large number of people struggling with substance use disorders and the opioid epidemic.
The establishment of halfway homes is regulated by law and still stands as a lucrative real estate investment opportunity.
Legal requirements are crucial factors one needs to consider while planning to start a sober living home in Illinois to avoid closure and other legal ramifications.
Be sure to research well or consult experts about all the applicable rules governing the establishment and operation of halfway home. In Illinois, you will have to fulfill the following requirements:
Registration and Licensing Requirements
In Illinois, all recovery residences must be registered with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) before opening.
However, the homes are subdivided into categories that require licensing and those that don’t. Oxford Houses are not permitted and can be established by someone in recovery and need a self-supporting environment free from alcohol and drugs.
Sober living homes are meant to provide an alcohol and drug-free living environment for people recovering from alcohol and drugs.
They are not licensed as well. But if you are planning to open a recovery home as defined by the Illinois Department of Human Service, you will need an operation license. If you intend to operate multiple homes, you will need a license for each home.
Remember, all recovery residences are regulated, whether licensed or not, and any reported case of abuse or negligence can lead to revocation of your license.
Application for your license is easy and simple. You will only need to go online and register with the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances and follow the provided guidelines. You will be licensed after:
- Paying the application fee provided,
- Demonstrating your capability and integrity of owning a recovery home,
- Proving that your employees are qualified to skillfully and safely serve your residents with reasonable judgment,
- Verification that information provided is accurate and does not mislead in any way whatsoever,
- Both the owner and the staff have no criminal records.
- Providing sufficient evidence to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there is a need for a recovery home in the community.
- Providing documents describing the fiscal solvency of the organization,
- Describing the floor plan of the intended facility and the applicable rationale for the delivery of services,
- Providing the correct details of the number of people your home will serve and the services that will be provided,
- Giving the expected timeline of your residents staying in your home,
- Affirming that you have complied with all laws and that any previous citations have been corrected as required by all appropriate authorities, and
- Providing a copy of your good neighborhood policies and the strategies put in place to implement them.
Identifying the right location
One of the things the licensing authorities will check is whether the place you plan to open your recovery home is appropriate. Ensure you find out whether your operation is permitted in the area before you apply for licensing.
You can achieve this by determining whether there are other homes already operating in the area. Also, research the zoning laws of the location to determine the required residence capacity.
Know the kind of structures you can build or modifications you can make to your property to fit the need of a halfway house.
The Home Environment
The licensing authorities, such as the Illinois Association of Extended Care, will inspect your home to see whether it provides a conducive and safe environment for residents.
The need should be up to standard all the time, and the home cleaned regularly. The residents’ rooms and bedding should be cleaned often to avoid potential infections.
In addition, make sure the house structure is accessible to everyone regardless of their physical abilities.
Invite professionals to repair cracked floors and fix wheelchair ramps on selected areas to allow those with limited mobility to move around with ease.
The rooms should be well ventilated, and emergency exits clearly labeled to enable residents to escape during an emergency.
This means that functional fire extinguishers should also be installed at accessible places to help during a fire breakout.
An effective telephone system should be installed at an open place to help in the dissemination of information whenever necessary.
Another key element to consider when beginning a rehabilitation home is the amount of space available.
It should be enough for the people you plan to host. Most halfway owners who are intending to accommodate six people consider single-family homes with three bedrooms to fulfill the spacing need.
Another significant reason is that they are easy to acquire even if you don’t have a lot of money. You can get a conventional loan to buy the house because the interest rates are low.
These homes are always on hire demand, and the monthly cash flow is equally high to help you pay back the loan and enjoy the rest of the income.
Recovery homes are meant to enhance the safety and full recovery of residents. So it would be best if you enacted rules aimed at achieving the purpose. Your rules should:
- Prohibit the use of alcohol or drugs by recovering residents,
- Make it mandatory for the residents under medication to do so as prescribed by the doctor,
- Prohibit the use of any drugs not prescribed by the doctor,
- Make it mandatory for every resident to comply with the neighborhood code of conducts to enhance good relations,
- All residents must actively participate in programs aimed at improving recoveries, such as counseling and Alcoholics
- Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous programs, and
- Compel all residents to be home within the allocated curfew time to enhance their safety.
Get establishing your halfway house today!
Do you want to start a halfway home in Illinois? It’s never too late to start investing in this unique real estate niche.
Contact us today for more information and training on how to start a halfway house. We have the winning strategic plan to get you started.