Serving Households with
with special needs, such as frail elders, youth aging out of foster care,
homeless, and people with disabilities may have difficulties finding housing
that is safe, affordable, and permanent. They may also require housing that is
matched with accessible support services. Many, if not most, of these
people with special needs are low or extremely low income (ELI).
The lack of affordable housing has many
impacts, among them costs to our health care and criminal justice systems, as
well as preventing individuals with special needs from exiting facilities and
living inclusively in the community.
Florida Housing’s Link Strategy – Link to Permanent Housing
enhances the ability of extremely low-income (ELI) households with special
needs to access and retain affordable rental housing in their communities.
Florida Housing requires developers to provide a specified percentage of a
Development’s ELI units for special needs households receiving community based
supportive services who are referred by a designated supportive services agency
in the community where the Development is located.
Definition of Special Needs Households
defined in Rule Chapter 67-48, Florida Administrative Code, “Special Needs
Household” means a household consisting of a Family that is considered to be Homeless,
a survivor of Domestic Violence, a Person with a Disability, or Youth Aging out
of Foster Care. These households require initial, intermittent or on-going
supportive services from one or more community based service providers to
obtain and retain stable, adequate and safe housing in their communities.
– The following are
relevant Definitions to the Link Initiative:
“Domestic Violence” means Domestic violence as defined in Section 741.28, F.S.
– 1 See accompanying
Florida Statutes definition.
“ELI Household” or “Extremely Low Income Household” means a household of one or
more persons wherein the annual adjusted gross income for the Family is equal
to or below the percentage of area median income for ELI Persons.
“ELI Persons” or “Extremely Low Income Persons” means extremely low income
persons as defined in Section 420.0004(8), F.S. or in a competitive
solicitation. - 2
See accompanying statute definition.
“ELI Set-Aside” or “Extremely Low Income Set-Aside” means the number of units
designated to serve ELI Households.
“Family” describes a household composed of one or more persons.
“Homeless” means Homeless as defined in Section 421.621, F.S.
“Special Needs Household” means a household consisting of a Family that is
considered to be Homeless, a survivor of Domestic Violence, a Person with a
Disability, or Youth Aging Out of Foster Care. These households require
initial, intermittent or on-going supportive services from one or more
community based service providers to obtain and retain stable, adequate and
safe housing in their communities.
“Special Needs Household Referral Agency” means an organization that is
designated and authorized by legislative mandate or the responsible federal or
state agency to plan, coordinate and administer the provision of federal or
state supportive services or long-term care programs for at least one Special
Needs Household population.
“Youth Aging Out of Foster Care” means youth or young adults who are eligible
for services under Section 409.1451(2), F.S.
3 See accompanying statute
Section 741.28, F.S. (2)“Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated
assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking,
aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense
resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by
another family or household member.
(3) “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses,
persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing
together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family,
and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they
have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common,
the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past
resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
2 Section 420.0004, F.S. (9) “Extremely-low-income persons” means one or more natural
persons or a family whose total annual household income does not exceed 30 percent
of the median annual adjusted gross income for households within the state. The
Florida Housing Finance Corporation may adjust this amount annually by rule to
provide that in lower income counties, extremely low income may exceed 30
percent of area median income and that in higher income counties, extremely low
income may be less than 30 percent of area median income.
3 409.1451, F.S. Independent living transition services.—
(1) SYSTEM OF SERVICES.—
(a) The Department of Children and Family Services, its agents,
or community-based providers operating pursuant to s. 409.1671 shall
administer a system of independent living transition services to enable older
children in foster care and young adults who exit foster care at age 18 to make
the transition to self-sufficiency as adults.
b) The department shall serve young adults who have reached 18
years of age but are not yet 23 years of age and who were in foster care when
they turned 18 years of age or, after reaching 16 years of age, were adopted
from foster care or placed with a court-approved dependency guardian and have
spent a minimum of 6 months in foster care within the 12 months immediately
preceding such placement or adoption, by providing services pursuant to
subsection (5). Young adults to be served must meet the eligibility requirements
set forth for specific services in this section.
With Disabilities: FHFC defines this term, pursuant to Section 3 of the
American with Disabilities Act of 1990, as an individual to which both of the
following applies: (i) the individual has a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such
individual, and (ii) the individual is currently or was formerly regarded as
having an existing record of such an impairment.
housing is an emerging arena for Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
Supportive housing can be more costly and residents’ incomes often have to be
supplemented to meet operations expenses, but it appears to be an important
strategy to divert individuals from more expensive and restrictive
institutional settings. We here at Florida Housing will continue to work with
others to develop a comprehensive solution to effectively pool housing and
services resources to assist people with special needs.