Government Code Section 65583(a)(7)) requires “An analysis of any special housing needs, such as those of the elderly, persons with disabilities, including a developmental disability, as defined in Section 4512 of the Welfare and Institutions Code; large families, farmworkers, families with female heads of households, and families and persons in need of emergency shelter…”
Special needs are those associated with specific demographic or occupational groups which call for very specific program responses, such as preservation of single-room occupancy hotels or the development of units with larger bedroom counts. The statute specifically requires analysis of the special housing needs of the elderly, the disabled including developmentally disabled, female-headed households, large families, farmworkers and homeless persons and families. These special needs groups often spend a disproportionate amount of their income to secure safe and decent housing and are sometimes subject to discrimination based on their specific needs or circumstances.
In addition to the groups listed above, the analysis of special needs should also include any other group the locality deems appropriate such as student populations, Native American tribes, persons with HIV/AIDS, etc.
A thorough analysis will assist a locality identify groups with the most serious housing needs in order to develop and prioritize responsive programs. The analysis of each special needs group should include the following:
- A quantification of the total number of persons and households in the special housing needs group, including tenure, where possible.
- A quantification and qualitative description of the need, including a description of the potential housing problems faced by the special needs groups, a description of any existing resources, and an assessment of unmet needs.
- Identification of potential program or policy options and resources to address the need.
In addition to the requisite analysis above, a thorough analysis of the special housing needs for the elderly should include:
- The number of elderly households by tenure.
- The number of seniors living at or under the poverty level.
- A listing of available resources and services addressing senior housing needs in the jurisdiction. Such services or resources could include local senior citizen centers, existing senior housing complexes and retirement communities, food banks/second harvest programs, volunteer operators of local meals on wheels programs, hospital geriatric departments, skilled nursing facilities, residential care and licensed assisted living facilities.
- Identification of potential housing problems faced by the elderly and assessment of unmet needs. For example, if the analysis indicates a high percentage of lower-income elderly homeowners live in substandard housing, the jurisdiction should consider including a rehabilitation program targeted to seniors. In addition, a substantial portion of affordable rental housing developments statewide are at-risk of conversion to market-rate use. This situation threatens thousands of low-income elderly households and families, exacerbating local housing needs.
The following sample tables are to assist in organizing critical information. The information provided in the tables should be tailored to the jurisdiction and be followed by appropriate analysis as detailed above. Sample tables are not intended to substitute for addressing the analytical requirements of housing element law.
|Householders by Tenure by Age|
|75 plus years|
|Source: Census Bureau (2012 ACS Data B25007)|
|Elderly Households by Income and Tenure|
|Income Level||Elderly Owner Households||Elderly Renter Households|
|Below 50% AMI|
|51% to 80%|
|81% to 120%|
|Source: CHAS Data Download Tool|
- California Department of Aging (CDA): administers a variety of programs designed specifically to assist elderly and elderly with disabilities and performs functions related to advocacy, planning, coordination, information sharing, brokering, monitoring and evaluation.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): resources for seniors
- Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, 2006 Older American Update: Key indicators of Wellness
- USA.Gov -The U.S. Government Search Engine: senior citizen resources
- California Registry: free referral services for families with elders, providing senior housing information and a comprehensive online database of senior housing.
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: offers information and data on Medicare Enrollment for elderly and disabled populations by State and County for 1999 – 2002
- Congress for California Seniors: online resource guide and listing of helpful websites
- Southern California Senior Resources: provides a listing of senior care facilities in located in southern California
- County of Orange Senior Services: a guide to the services for older adults provided by the County of Orange
- Healthy City: an information and action resource for service referrals
- Aging in Place: Facilitating Choice and Independence