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How to Find Accessible Housing in Florida

No matter where you live in the country, it is never easy finding accessible housing. In Florida, the search can be just as hard, but with patience, accessible housing can be found. Whether you are interested in finding an apartment, living in a group home or buying your own home, there are a lot of options available in every corner of the state. You first need to decide the best housing option for you.

Renting, buying, living alone or with roommates, there are a lot of decisions to be made when you're ready to find a place to live. And before you go you begin your search, be sure to bookmark the following online accessible housing guide - Housing In Florida by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. This guide outlines every accessible home/rental available to low- and normal-income people with disabilities in Florida.

Although this guide is geared towards developmental disabilities, it is an excellent guide for all disabilities, including people with spinal cord injuries. See below for some of the best ways to find accessible housing in Florida.

Connect with HUD & Local Organizations

The Federal government and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD, is one of the best places to start your search when looking for accessible housing, as they cater to people with disabilities as well. They provide information on discrimination in rental inquiries, rules on assistance animals, reasonable accommodation guidance, as well as everything you need to know about accessible housing and what is required by law. 

While HUD may not provide housing or rental listings, it is a great place to get educated on your rights as a person with a disability seeking housing. Also, you should contact the nonprofit, The Florida Supportive Housing Coalition. This organization helps people with disabilities gain access to accessible housing and are dedicated to helping people with disabilities live in a barrier-free environment in Florida.

Search Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace

After you decide on the housing you want, you must begin your search. You can find low-income accessible housing through various agencies throughout Florida if you're looking for subsidized housing. One of the first places to start searching, and to post an ad as well for the housing you’re seeking, is Craigslist. There are a lot of people who post and search for housing here. You never know who will read your ad as. And don't forget about Facebook Marketplace, the competitor to Craigslist. 

Search New Apartment Buildings

If you decide you want to rent an apartment, you can register for low income/subsidized housing with the county that you live in. They can give you a list of low-income properties with vacancies, or if there are none near you, you can be put on a waiting list. You can also go online to search. One of the best places to look is FloridaHousingSearch.org. This website offers a detailed successful housing search tool where you can find properties that offer roll-in showers and other specific accessible amenities like an accessible parking lot, doorways that are “32 inches or wider, lever-style handles and faucets, 60° turning circle in the bathroom, front-controlled laundry machines and many more. 

Search results on this site are both normal rate and low-income properties. To view the accessible search features, click on a city first and then you'll be brought to the search page. Check it out: http://www.socialserve.com/tenant/FL/index.html?ch=FL

Consider Buying a Home

If your finances allow it, or if you are even half-way there, there are government loan programs that give first-time homeowners with disabilities help buying a home. You can learn all about these programs in the ‘Housing In Florida’ guide here (buying a home is on pages 21 and 36). You can also search for accessible homes online. There are several places to look at. Check out http://www.wheelchairaccessiblehomes.com/listings.htm and https://www.barrierfreehome.com.

Don't lose hope. It may take some time to find the right property in the area that you're looking for and at the right price, you may even have to give up on finding a few key features, but with patience, the right property will present itself. And if the finding a roll-in shower proves impossible, consider purchasing a Go Mobility Solutions! shower chair that works with an already-in-place bathtub.

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