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ABOUT US

The Elder Housing Unit was established in September 2005 within the Communities for a Lifetime Initiative.

EHU MISSION

The mission of the Elder Housing Unit in the Department of Elder Affairs is to provide information and technical assistance to elders and community leaders to create affordable senior housing choices and assisted living to foster aging-in-place with dignity.

EHU GOALS

  1. Provide Outreach

    • Maintain and enhance consistent outreach efforts to ensure that the public is aware of affordable assisted living and affordable supportive housing that uses Medicaid and other public assistance programs and services.
    • Increase and enhance housing options that accommodate Medicaid waiver programs by educating communities, housing financers and developers on the importance of supportive housing and related resources that facilitate aging in place, living at optimal level of functioning and diversion from higher, more expensive levels of care.
  2. Information and Referral

    • Facilitate the availability of and access to assisted living and other housing services.
    • Provide individuals access to the most appropriate information and resources that meet their needs and preferences.
    • For more information, check our resources page.
  3. Stakeholder Development and Technical Assistance

    • Develop, maintain, and enhance collaboration among elder housing developers and services providers.
    • Facilitate the development of affordable assisted living and supportive housing in underserved areas.
    • Provide technical assistance to entities designated as Communities for a Lifetime.
    • Coordinate elder housing issues between state agencies.

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ELDER HOUSING CHALLENGES

Florida is recognized as one of the top retirement states in the nation. Every day elders relocate here with hopes of spending their golden years enjoying the mild climate, beautiful natural resources, and abundant recreational opportunities. Likewise, the need for affordable housing for low-income or frail elders has reached critical levels.

The circumstances contributing to this problem range from overpriced market conditions to the depletion of affordable housing units. The affordable housing shortage has created yearlong or more waiting lists for subsidized elder housing, an increasing need for emergency housing, fierce competition for affordable privately-owned rental units, and a crucial need for rental assistance for the elderly to defray daily living costs. Elders who are fortunate enough to live in their own homes face a similar affordability issue due to rising property taxes, doubled and tripled homeowners' insurance rates, and the inability to maintain aging single-family homes, townhouses, mobile homes and condos.

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ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES AND ADULT FAMILY CARE HOMES

The Agency for Health Care Administration is responsible for licensing and inspecting assisted living facilities (ALF) and adult family care homes (AFCH). The agency has a valuable consumer resource Web site that allows you to research any type of licensed health care facility in Florida. Please be sure to visit the facility locator maintained by the agency to look for an assisted living facility or adult family care home, as well as other health care facilities.

The Department of Elder Affairs has a comprehensive Web site that provides consumers information regarding assisted living and related resources in Florida. The Web site's address is: www.floridaaffordableassistedliving.org.

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RESOURCES

Affordable housing search in Florida

Florida Housing Search is a free place to list and find affordable housing in Florida. It is sponsored by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and powered by Socialserve.com, a nonprofit corporation.

The list of housing providers is growing continually, so bookmark the Web site and check back often to view new entries.

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Reports on aging demographics

One of the best resources to obtain information regarding elders is the U.S. Census Bureau . These are some of the reports based on the 2000 Census:

Other information that may be of interest to you is listed below:

  • 2006 Older American Update: Key Indicator of Wellness, a report produced by the Federal Interagency Forum on age-related statistics. This updated report provides the latest data on the 37 key indicators selected by the forum for its 2004 report to portray aspects of the lives of older Americans and their families. It is divided into five subject areas: population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care.
  • Florida's Aging Population a report prepared by the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, Florida State University. The latest edition was issued in 2007.

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Reports on housing

  • The Department of Elder Affairs, in partnership with the Florida Housing Coalition, has developed an Affordable Elder Housing Blueprint. The Affordable Elder Housing Blueprint provides specific guidance on how Florida’s cities and counties can modify land use and development practices to facilitate more elder-friendly housing. The Housing Blueprint suggests improvements to local land use codes, comprehensive plans, current housing assistance programs, and more.
  • The Affordable Housing Study Commission was created in 1986 pursuant to the provisions of Section 420.609, Florida Statutes. Each year the commission makes public policy recommendations to the Governor and Legislature to stimulate community development and revitalization to promote the production, preservation, and maintenance of safe, decent, affordable housing for all Floridians.
  • The Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse provides public access to data about housing needs and supply, subsidized rental housing and household demographics in Florida communities.
  • Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing, University of Florida
  • Home Modification: Your Key to Comfort, Safety, and Independent Living is an AARP guide to maintaining home for a lifetime. The guide includes information on home maintenance, universal design, home modifications (from no cost/low cost to large scale modifications), as well as tips on hiring a contractor and home safety checklist.

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Florida government agencies and services they provide

The State of Florida's main Web portal, MyFlorida.com, provides a starting point for Florida's residents and those who consider moving to Florida, with the information about government agencies and services they provide.

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs was established specifically to address the elder population's needs. The Department of Elder Affairs administers programs and services for elders in Florida through contract agreements with area agencies on aging throughout the state. The area agencies on aging are responsible for ensuring the availability of services to elders at the local level. The department's Web site should be a must see for any elder conducting research on various issues and assistance available.

When the time becomes necessary to choose a home with services, it can be an overwhelming task. Therefore, the Agency for Health Care Administration has created a consumer Web site to educate seniors and their families on selecting the best option.

Many elders enjoy the lifestyle that only a mobile home park can provide. Others prefer to enjoy the equally relaxed lifestyle of condominiums. Whichever lifestyle you choose, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation can assist you in understanding more about the following areas:

  • Jurisdiction of the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums and Mobile Homes/DBPR
  • Regulations
  • Rights of mobile home owners
  • Mobile home park closings/changes in land use
  • Financial assistance from the Florida Mobile Home Relocation Corporation

Other Florida government agencies provide information and services in the following areas:

Click here to access all state agencies.

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers programs to help Floridians access affordable rental housing in their community as shown below. In addition to this, they provide valuable information to consumers to assist them in making the best housing choice.

Contact a public housing authority in your area to find affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities, and to learn more about HUD programs offered.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) find your own place and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. To apply, contact a public housing agency. For more information about this HUD program, click here.

Home ownership opportunities under HUD vary from region to region. HUD also provides information to consumers on how to purchase a home.

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Associations, etc.

Affordable housing is a complex process and the information you receive should be specific to your housing needs. The Elder Housing Unit will assist communities to identify resources that will lead to creating and enhancing affordable and accessible elder housing. Below is a list of organizations that have resources to assist your organization's educational needs.

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Resources for developers

Florida Housing Finance Corporation is one of the most important financing providers for development of affordable housing in Florida. Please review the Special Needs Housing, Housing Resources and Developers pages of their Web site for funding options and services that may be applicable to your goals.

Florida Housing Coalition has a wealth of knowledge about community development and affordable housing and provides technical assistance to interested parties. It will be very helpful to attend their workshops to learn about how to better use the funding available through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

The following Web site links are included to provide you with additional resources for your housing initiatives. Each of the organizations/entities offers various community development loans and/or grants to leverage housing funding.

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Contact Us

For more information about the Elder Housing Unit, contact:

Cory Livingston, MPA
Phone: 850- 414-2165

Lisa Murray, Housing Liaison
Phone: 850-414-2097

Department of Elder Affairs
Elder Housing Unit
4040 Esplanade Way
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-7000
Fax: 850- 414-2372

Or you may e-mail us at:
communities@elderaffairs.org

Please be sure to include your name, address, and phone number with your message.

Thank you!

For assistance with non-housing inquiries, please contact the Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337, or 1-800-955-8771 for TDD.

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Last updated: 3/13/2013
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