The Path Forward: Rethinking Solutions for Homelessness in Florida. To end homelessness, there is a growing consensus that local communities that achieve success:

  • Create a local system that has a goal to make homelessness rare, brief and one time,
  • Focus on housing solutions like Rapid Rehousing, permanent supportive housing

Housing First practices:

  • Use data to track progress and monitor performance,
  • Invest only in proven solutions to homelessness, and
  • Direct sufficient resources from the public and private sector to right-size the system and programs to be sufficient to match the community’s unique needs

Curbing the Loss of Affordable Rental Housing in Florida: A Risk Assessment Approach. Preservation of affordable housing has been hampered by a lack of multifamily housing research and data. This paper describes the creation of an assisted housing inventory and the analysis of property characteristics as an approach to identify properties most at risk of loss and to steer preservation policy and funding. This risk assessment approach is applied to Florida’s assisted housing stock. For units at risk by 2015, it found that the majority receives project-based rental assistance, that all population groups are impacted by the potential loss, that almost half have non-profit ownership, and that only four counties house almost 50 percent of atrisk units. Rent restructuring, debt restructuring, additional funding programs and property tax relief are described as preservation strategies.

The Relative Cost of Homelessness in the Suncoast Region of Florida And the Economic Impact of Providing Sustainable Housing Solutions July 2015. The findings in this study indicate that when adding the local public costs that could be avoided by reducing chronic homelessness to the related positive economic activity of developing additional affordable housing options across the region, the total economic impact would be conservatively projected at just over $82,100,000. Beyond measuring the economic impact, implementing a long-range solution built on increasing the supply of affordable housing, plus expanding access to services, reduces the burden of homelessness on law enforcement, emergency transports, hospitals and the business community, freeing up those valuable resources to serve others—thereby improving the quality of life for everyone in the community.

HOME MATTERS: The 2014 Report from the Florida Housing Coalition. The Florida Housing Coalition has produced this report in support of Home Matters® (, a national movement to make Home a reality for everyone by elevating the importance of Home’s impact on people’s health, education, personal success, public safety, and the economy. Participating in Home Matters is a coast-to-coast coalition composed of members of the general public, leaders of housing and community development organizations, as well as other organizations concerned about increasing the positive impact of Home in their communities.

Analysis of Impediments To Fair Housing Choice: Escambia Consortium. Escambia County, Pensacola, Santa Rosa County – June 2012. The purpose of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing is to review the housing choices in the jurisdiction to determine whether those choices are available to all. The Fair Housing Act specifies that housing occupancy shall not be affected by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or national origin.

The Need for Farmworker Housing in Florida May 28, 2013. Prepared for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

Council of Homelessness: 2014 Report. The recommendations in this report are designed to build upon and expand the success Florida has achieved in recent years. The Council encourages several potential solutions, from providing flexible funding to supporting local initiatives to help households with extremely low incomes. The Council also emphasizes the need to continue increasing the supply of affordable housing for our homeless neighbors. There is no doubt that effective public-private collaboration at state and local levels, combined with strong community participation, is key to solving homelessness; as is breaking down the barriers to talking about it.  .

Florida Multifamily Efficiencies Opportunities Study January 2015. Prepared for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Office of Energy.

The goal of this study is to identify opportunities to improve the energy and water efficiency of Florida’s multifamily rental properties. Because the bulk of savings potential in the multifamily building stock is in existing properties and because low‐income households tend to bear a disproportionate share of the cost burdens associated with rental property inefficiencies, the focus is on identifying policy, program and code incentives to encourage Florida’s multifamily property owners to invest in energy‐and water‐efficiency retrofit activities.


(NOTE: these are now available to all APA members upon logging in online)

Become a Group Home Guru (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article discusses how federal and state laws, as well as social justice goals, affect local zoning for group housing.

Data-Driven Housing Assessments and Action Plans, Part 1: The Data (PAS Memo). Summary: The article is a guide to the most important publicly available housing data sources for planners. It offers some important notes about how to use them and ways in which each source contributes to a thorough housing needs assessment. Although this Memo will introduce some analytical techniques, a follow-up article (Part 2) will discuss analytical techniques in more depth and explore ways municipalities can use them to set goals, inform policymakers, and to develop or assess programs. Planners can use the information in these articles to build a case for conducting regular housing needs assessments.

Lessons for In-House Zoning Revisions (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article uses lessons learned from specific in-house revision processes to highlight a series of recommendations for communities considering staff-led comprehensive zoning amendments.

Leveraging Affordable Housing Through Upzoning (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article profiles five localities that have adopted affordable housing incentives or requirements in upzoned areas and explores how market context, zoning context, and policy design may affect the success of inclusionary upzoning policies.

Making Space for Tiny Houses (PAS QuickNotes 68). Summary: The article briefly describes different types of tiny houses and explains how land-use and development regulations affect tiny house living.

Peering into the Peer Economy: Short-Term Rental Regulation (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article explains the connection of short-term rental regulation to the larger sharing economy and offers key considerations for new approaches to licensing and zoning for home sharing.

Planning and Fair Housing (PAS QuickNotes 66). Summary:  The article briefly provides an overview of local fair housing obligations under federal law and highlights three specific strategies for expanding fair housing access through local land-use policy.

Tiny Houses, and the Not-So-Tiny Questions They Raise (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article reviews how tiny houses fit into the general U.S. system of land-use control through building codes, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and private restrictive covenants.

Town House Standards (Zoning Practice). Summary:  The article takes a look at some of the regulatory and design problems that prompted Chicago to add special zoning provisions to address townhouse development and concludes with a short analysis of how well these provisions have stood the test of time.

Using the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index in Your Community (PAS Memo). Summary:  The article is intended to help planners move from a conceptual awareness of the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index (H+T Index) and its potential applications to a clear understanding of how to build an analysis using H+T Index data to support planning goals. It summarizes the rationale and technical approach behind the development of the index and outlines potential ways to use it. Detailed case studies show how planners in two different areas of the U.S. used the index to better understand development patterns, identify appropriate measures to address development challenges, and support changes in policy or practice. Finally, to help planners consider how to use the data in their own applications, the article concludes with some observations about using H+T Index data based on the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s experiences with a range of projects.

Zoning as a Barrier to Multifamily Housing Development (PAS 548).

 Summary:  The report examines the relationships between zoning and housing in six metropolitan areas. Using census and GIS data, the authors found indicators of zoning regulations and housing market performance in Boston; Miami-Dade County; Minneapolis–St. Paul; Portland; Sacramento; and Washington, D.C. They evaluated state statutes and regional and local plans in each metropolitan area. The result is documentary evidence that exclusionary zoning is a significant barrier to higher-density, multifamily housing, which is often — but not always — more affordable than single-family housing. The new GIS approach the authors used clearly illuminated the impact of regulatory barriers on housing affordability.

Zoning for Accessory Housing (Zoning Practice). Summary:  The article outlines a strategy for incorporating accessory housing standards into local zoning codes and highlights a few examples of communities where this approach has been effective.