A home of one’s own, either rented or owned, is the cornerstone of independence for any individual. Many people with disabilities face tremendous difficulties in getting and keeping adequate housing. They face obstacles like discrimination, inaccessible construction and unaffordable housing. There are many government supports for home ownership and rental housing to help you find a desired living arrangement.

Housing will probably be your largest monthly expenditure. Prior to living independently, one should develop a monthly budget that calculates income and expenses for housing, utilities, transportation, et cetera.

For people with disabilities, it can be difficult to find available and affordable housing in Miami- Dade, Broward County and Palm Beach counties. Many group homes and supported living programs are for adults ages 18 and up but often they have waiting lists. It is wise, during the transition years, to begin looking into such places and filling out paperwork to plan for eligibility.

“Despise not any man/woman and do not deem anything unworthy of consideration, for there is no man/woman that does not have his/her hour and no thing that does not have its place.”

Ethics of the Fathers 4:3

Local Resources

The Center for Independent Living of South Florida offers free to the user services in advocacy, self-help and independence training, references for services and peer support. Services for assistive technology, hearing impairment, independent living and social opportunities are just a part of what CIL offers.

The Arc of South Florida provides adult day care, group homes and vocational training for people with disabilities.

The Jewish Association for Residential Care  Supported Living Apartments by JARC are for designed for adults who do not require 24-hour supervision in order to lead fulfilling lives. Supported living coaches assist clients with skills such as budgeting/money management, paying bills, grocery shopping/meal preparation, medical and transportation.

Melvin J & Claire Levine Jewish Residential & Family Service – is a partner agency of the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service – Group Homes.

United Community Options of Broward, Palm Beach and Mid-Coast Counties provide residential services for both children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Additional support services include medical, dietary and behavioral services as needed. United Community Options also offers Behavior Focus Group Homes for individuals with behavior challenges. Supported living coaching provides training and assistance to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that live independently in the community. Individuals are assisted and trained in daily living skills, managing personal finances, housekeeping needs and life skills.

Levine Jewish Residential and Family Service also offers a supported independent living program catering to adults, ages 21 and over, who require some level of supervision but are able to live in their own apartment. They provide specialized programming, transportation, medication management and employment opportunities for residents.

Easter Seals a wide array of services over the life span for children and adults with different abilities. These include adult day services, in home care, vocational training and housing.

Please see APD’s webpage on Florida Group Home parameters here.

The Association for People with Disabilities (APD) provides: Medicaid HCBS Waiver through iBudget Florida; Placement in an intermediate care facility for those with developmental disabilities; Supported employment services; Supported living services; Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+); and IFS (Individual and Family Supports) funding for non-waiver customer expenses

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council publishes an online Housing Resource Guide that identifies and explains the housing resources available in each of Florida’s communities so that people with developmental disabilities will be better able to access the housing they desire.

Casa Familia is dedicated to creating affordable housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in an enriched community setting in Miami-Dade County. Through the generous support of Miami-Dade County, Casa Familia has received 9 acres of land at 11025 S.W. 84th St., in Kendall close to public transportation, employment opportunities, shopping, recreation, medical facilities, and much more. Casa Familia has established strategic partnerships with Atlantic Pacific Companies, a long-standing development firm, and United Community Options, a well-established social service provider, with the experience to develop and operate a best practice community for individuals with IDD. With the support of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Casa Familia will create a multi-phase residential campus of permanent supported housing, focused solely on serving adults with IDD.

Exceptional Designs. If you are an adult with a disability and need modifications to your home so that you can live more independently please contact Exceptional Designs.  They specialize in customized home modifications for people with developmental and/or physical disabilities.

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council publishes an online Housing Resource Guide that identifies and explains the housing resources available in each of Florida’s communities so that people with developmental disabilities will be better able to access the housing they desire.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability