Planning Resources > Housing Assistance

People with low incomes are eligible to receive rental assistance from various programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through local housing authorities. This may be in housing projects which are government-owned and set rent based on income. There is also a program that provides subsidies to persons who rent privately owned property and is referred to as Section 8 housing. This provides assistance when the landlord is willing to participate in the Section 8 program and the place to be rented has been approved by the appropriate local housing authority. In this program, a person must be approved for a rental subsidy after which he or she pays only a portion of the rent (the amount determined based on a percentage of the individual’s income) and the housing authority pays the balance of the rent to the landlord. To receive such a subsidy, the person must meet the eligibility criteria and the building or apartment to be rented must meet established standards. The landlord cannot charge more rent than the amount that the housing authority has found to be fair in the local area. Individuals are encouraged to make application for Section 8 even if they will be placed on a waiting list. Your local housing authority can provide you with additional information. Also, the Department of Community Affairs and the Florida Housing Coalition, Inc. (see their entries below) are additional resources to obtain more information on financing options and opportunities for housing for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Council of State Community Development Agencies – This national association advocates and enhances the leadership role of states in community development through policy development and implementation, customer-driven technical assistance, education, and collaborative efforts. COSCDA analyzes proposed legislation and budget initiatives, helps states share information about best practices, and produces a variety of newsletters and technical reports. (202) 293-5820.

Florida Coalition for the Homeless – FCH is comprised of a broad spectrum of advocates and providers who are committed to putting an end to homelessness and improving the conditions of persons living without shelter. It provides education on homelessness issues; advocates for initiatives that help homeless people and against laws and ordinances that may harm them; networks with advocates throughout Florida on federal, state and local issues; and promotes unification, involvement and leadership of local coalitions, service providers, homeless people, religious leaders, units of government, and others in the development and implementation of a statewide agenda. (850) 412-0021.

Florida Department of Community Affairs – DCA is the state's land planning and community development agency. Its role is to assist Florida's communities as they meet the needs of Florida's ever-expanding population. The department ensures that new growth complies with the state's vital growth management laws, while also helping established communities revitalize their older or traditional neighborhoods. One of its divisions may be of special interest to those with limited incomes and is described below. 1-877-352-3222.

The Division of Housing and Community Development provides funding to local communities to help improve housing, streets, utilities and public facilities. The division assists with efforts to revitalize underserved communities and encourage economic development for the common good, and to help low-income residents meet the costs of such essential services as home heating and cooling. (850) 488-7956.

Florida Housing Coalition – The Coalition is a nonprofit, statewide membership organization working to bring housing advocates and resources together to promote affordable housing for all Floridians. (850) 878-4219.

Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse – The Clearinghouse provides public access to data about housing needs and supply, subsidized rental housing, and household demographics in Florida communities. 1-800-259-5705.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation – Florida Housing was created by the Florida Legislature help Floridians obtain safe, decent housing that might otherwise be unavailable to them. Its programs provide assistance for renters, first-time homebuyers, disaster recovery and workforce housing. (850) 488-4197.

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development – HUD's Web site contains extensive information on HUD programs, regulations, grants, home ownership, renting, home improvements, and homelessness issues. (202) 708-1112.

HudClips is an online source for HUD publications and forms.