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Press Release: Residential Options of Florida to Develop First Home for Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Immokalee

For Immediate Release

Date: June 12, 2017

Contact: Sheryl Soukup, Executive Director, Residential Options of Florida

                239-774-ROOF (7663)

Residential Options of Florida to Develop First Home for Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Immokalee

(June 12, 2017 – Naples, FL) Residential Options of Florida (ROOF) is collaborating with Immokalee Housing & Family Services (IHFS) to develop Immokalee’s first home specifically designed for supported living for individuals with developmental disabilities. Independence Place, as the project is called, will provide up to three adults with developmental disabilities a safe, accessible, affordable home in the Immokalee community. The development is the first of its kind in Immokalee. IHFS will provide expertise and connections to the community along with financial support to ensure success of the project.

“IHFS has been creating affordable housing opportunities for people in Immokalee for over 30 years. We’re proud to partner with ROOF to fulfill the need for safe, decent, affordable housing for adults with developmental disabilities,” says IHFS executive director Susan Golden.

ROOF will serve as developer of the project. “Making housing affordable is only half of the equation,” says Sheryl Soukup, executive director of ROOF. “The other half is the provision of supportive services that allow individuals with developmental disabilities to safely live as independently as possible.”

Supported living services help individuals with disabilities live independently and maintain their households in the community. Services available through Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) include Personal Supports, which help with daily living skills and accessing the community, as well as Supported Living Coaching, which prepares individuals with developmental disabilities to move into a new supported living home and provides training for them to develop independent living skills. These and other services allow individuals with disabilities to live in a home of their choosing in the community.

Soukup adds, “People with developmental disabilities can live high-quality lives in the community when the right supports are provided. ROOF is excited to provide opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities in Immokalee to live in safe, decent, affordable housing with the support they need to achieve their maximum level of independence.”

In support of this project, ROOF has been invited to participate in the Predevelopment Loan Program (PLP) through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Through individualized technical assistance and flexible below market interest financing for predevelopment activities, the PLP helps nonprofit and community based organizations, local governments, and public housing authorities plan, finance, and develop affordable housing. This significant funding will allow ROOF to begin development of this first home in Immokalee.

Technical assistance for the Predevelopment Loan Program is being provided by Florida Housing Coalition, a nonprofit, statewide membership organization whose mission is to bring together housing advocates and resources so that all Floridians have a quality affordable home and suitable living environment.

“The Florida Housing Coalition Technical Assistance team is excited to work with ROOF as it plans its first housing project,” says Gladys Cook, technical advisor with the Florida Housing Coalition. “Independence Place will be a model for supported independent living that is inclusive to the community and will be a home for one or more persons with developmental disabilities.  Residents will have affordable rents and a permanent lease.  Inclusive housing is designed to be fully part of the community allowing residents to make personal choices in their daily lives.  Independence Place will be fully accessible.  Financing for the home will come from a variety of sources including the Florida Housing Finance Corporation for the Predevelopment Loan intended to cover site acquisition, design, permitting, and other costs that are required to develop the home.”