Serving Special Needs

Persons with special needs is defined in section 420.0004(13), Florida Statutes, “as an adult person requiring independent living services in order to maintain housing or develop independent living skills and who has a disabling condition; a young adult formerly in foster care who is eligible for services under s. 409.1451(5); a survivor of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28; or a person receiving benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or from veterans’ disability benefits.” Persons with special needs as defined above and including frail elders, individuals experiencing homelessness, 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 supportive 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

Florida Housing’s Link Strategy 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. For additional information about serving special needs households and to learn more about the Link Strategy use the Quick Links menu on the right of this page.