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ROOF was founded as a nonprofit corporation in 2014 with support from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC). The organization was formed as a result of the work of the FDDC Florida Inclusive Housing Task Force. The task force identified specific issues facing Floridians with intellectual and developmental disabilities who wanted to live in the community, and they knew there were solutions to those pressing problems.

The task force members recommended that ROOF be formed to implement the solutions they identified. Their primary goal was to provide information on housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In 2016, ROOF held its first statewide conference on housing for people with developmental disabilities. In 2017, the Board of Directors, considering how ROOF could have the greatest impact, decided that ROOF would become a provider of affordable housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since then, ROOF has been working to create a permanent pool of affordable housing in communities in Florida for this population.

In order to ensure the properties that ROOF creates will remain affordable in perpetuity, ROOF created a Community Land Trust (CLT), ROOF Housing Trust, which became Florida’s first statewide CLT.  A CLT is a nonprofit corporation that holds land on behalf of a placed-based community, while serving as the long-term steward for affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of the community.  Community land trusts keeps housing affordable in the long term, allowing lower-income households to continue to have access to neighborhoods that are increasing in price. 

The CLT was formed to achieve three primary goals:

  • Goal #1 – Provide a solution for aging parents who want their adult child to stay in their home after their passing – they can donate their home to ROOF under a life estate agreement;
  • Goal #2 – Provide affordable rental homes using the supported living model for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • Goal #3 – Provide affordable home ownership opportunities for people with disabilities.

ROOF’s Board decided to pursue supported living rental homes first, since there is a great need for this type of housing.  In 2019, ROOF and ROOF Housing Trust merged, the surviving entity, Residential Options of Florida (ROOF), continues to be a statewide CLT.