Owners & Renters

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Whether you own or rent, it takes money, time and effort to fulfill your responsibilties. These housing programs may be helpful to you.

Elevator Outages

Elevator outages are of particular concern to Floridians with disabilities. Here are a few tips to help you when your condominium or apartment elevator stops working:

  • Contact your condominium association or maintenance company immediately to ensure that the elevator outage has been reported and to ask about what actions are being taken to expedite repair. 
  • Inform your condominium association or maintenance company that you are a person with a disability and having use of a safe and well functioning elevator is a necessity and not a convenience. Put your concerns in writing.     
  • Most condominium associations and apartment buildings contract with an elevator service to provide maintenance and emergency service. Keep in mind that it may take 24+ hours for an elevator technician to respond to the outage. 
  • Be diligent and call each subsequent day that the elevator is out of service. Ask when the elevator is expected to be repaired and what specifically is being done to expedite the repair. Ask if repair parts have been ordered, if necessary, and when the parts will be picked up or delivered. Unfortunately, a broken elevator does take time to repair. Depending on the problem, it is not uncommon for a standard repair requiring new parts to take between 2-3 days. 

Sometimes elevator repairs can take numerous days and even weeks or months to complete - especially in older buildings where parts are hard to find or complete replacements or upgrades might be required. If you are facing a lengthy delay, you may wish to:

  • Relocate temporarily to another unit or apartment on a lower level if one is available. 
  • Discuss a strategy with management to minimize the duration of the outage. Perhaps work can be broken into sections with the elevator being operational intermittently.
  • Contact your local Emergency Rescue Department. Alert them of the issue and your concerns. They may be able to provide some assistance. 
  • Contact your local Center for Independent Living to inquire about funding for temporary lodging.
  • You may also visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Bureau of Elevator Safety website or contact them at 850-487-1395. The Bureau reviews and investigates complaints pertaining to elevator safety and compliance. Elevator safety is governed by Florida Statute Chapter 399. Click here to view Florida Statute, Chapter 399.

Weatherization

Weatherization Assistance Programs assist low income people with energy saving home repairs.

Services include:

  • Fixing air infiltration with weather stripping, caulking, thresholds, minor repairs to walls, ceilings and floors, and window and door replacement,
  • Installing attic and floor insulation (floors in northern Florida counties only),
  • Installing attic ventilation,
  • Applying solar reflective coating to manufactured homes,
  • Installing solar screens,
  • Repairing or replacing inefficient heating and cooling units,
  • Repairing or replacing water heaters.

For more information visit http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1847

Emergency Home Repair

The Low-Income Emergency Home Repair Program assists low income people, especially elderly individuals and people with physical disablilities, with the cost of repairs.

The eligiblity requirements for this program are the same as for the Weatherization Assistance Program. Priority is given to persons 60 years of age or older, and people who are physically disabled.

Covered repairs include:

  • Correcting structural deficiencies,
  • Repairing or replacing unsafe or nonfunctional space heating or water heating systems,
  • Improving accessibility or making repairs for the physically impaired,
  • Repairing plumbing to ensure safe drinking water and sewage disposal,
  • Repairing electrical wiring or fixtures,
  • Repairing deteriorating walls, floors, and roofs,
  • Making other interior or exterior repairs necessary for health and safety of the resident.

For more information visit
 

Emergency Financial

The Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing Program (EFAHP) assists families who are totally without shelter or face the loss of shelter because of non-payment of rent or mortgage.

It also helps families who have had household disasters such as fire, flood, or other accidents.

The program assists families with a one-time payment of up to $400. Eligibility requirements include:

  • At least one child under the age of 18 in household.
  • The household must live in Florida, or be working or looking for work in Florida.
  • At least one child or caretaker in the home must be a U. S. citizen or legal resident.
  • You must have proof of your housing emergency, for example, a copy of a court ordered eviction or foreclosure notice. In the event of a natural disaster such as fire or flood, the EFAHP office can make a telephone call to the sheriff's office, fire department, Department of Children and Families' office, etc., if you provide us with a phone number.
  • If you do not have enough money in your checking/savings accounts, or the cash to pay your rent or mortgage.
  • The total household income is compared to the State of Florida's need standard to decide whether the household is eligible.
  • All income received during the month you apply is considered, except for those household members who receive SSI.
  • If you are having financial problems, it must be due to a real emergency, and not from mishandling your money.
  • You must provide proof of your present living address. Examples include a rent receipt, utility bill, or other paperwork that lists the name of the head of household or other caretaker, and the present address.
  • Your application must be signed and dated.

For more information and to apply, please contact:

Department of Children and Families
Economic Self-Sufficiency Services Program Office
Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing Program
P.O. Box 7296
Tallahassee, Florida 32314-7296
(877) 891-6445
(850) 488-3700
 

Home Energy

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program assists eligible low-income households in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling. 

For more information on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, please visit http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1553

Landlord in Foreclosure

Renters in foreclosed properties may face uncertainty through no fault of their own. If your landlord experiences foreclosure, you may be affected.

Fannie Mae offers renters whose landlords are in foreclosure several options through a program called the Tenant-in-Place rental program. The program provides renters the opportunity for greater stability or additional time to transition to new housing. For more information on program options, please visit Fannie Mae's Helping Tenants in Foreclosed Properties page.