The Shimberg Center for Housing Studies was established at the University of Florida in 1988 to promote safe, decent and affordable housing and related community development throughout the state of Florida.

News Highlights

CODY Virtual Reality Tool Allows Persons with Parkinson’s Disease to Experience Home Modifications

6/21/2020:The Shimberg Center and partners launched the CODY (Co-Design for You) Virtual Reality tool to help persons with Parkinson's Disease and other movement difficulties to redesign interior home features to best fit their circumstances. The CODY tool allows the user to test different safety options without having to move items around physically. Sherry Ahrentzen (Shimberg Center), Ravi Srinivasan (M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management) and Shabboo Valipoor (Department of Interior Design) led this interdisciplinary study that includes researchers from College of Medicine, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Journalism and Communications, and College of the Arts and Department of Neurology. Learn more and watch a video on the project here.

Shimberg Center launches COVID-19 resource, data pages

4/10/2020:Today the Shimberg Center launched two new Web pages with information about COVID-19 and housing in Florida. COVID-19: Workforce and Housing Indicators provides county-by-county data on housing cost burdens, older populations, children’s access to Internet and health insurance, worker counts in hard-hit service industries, and subsidized housing sites eligible for new tenant protections under the federal CARES Act. COVID-19 & Housing Resources describes the data and provides links to relevant news articles and housing resources from our partners. Check back frequently for updates to both pages, and send us suggestions or custom data requests to

Report: Nearly 96,000 Florida students identified as homeless amid housing shortage, hurricane aftermath.

08/16/2019 Students Experiencing Homelessness in Florida: Updates and Solutions finds that in the 2017-2018 school year, 95,873 students in Florida schools were identified as homeless–nearly triple the number from ten years ago. Of these, 19,721 students were made homeless by hurricanes, including 11,968 students who moved from Puerto Rico to Florida after Hurricane Maria.

The Shimberg Center and Miami Homes for All co-authored this new report with support from JPMorgan Chase and Co. See also county-level fact sheets on student homelessness, an interactive map of Florida schools and homeless student counts, and more.

Research Brief: Older households, renters make up most of Florida’s recent growth. The affordable rental housing gap continues.

07/11/2019 A new research brief summarizes findings on statewide housing trends from the 2019 Rental Market Study. The Center also released briefs on regional rental housing trends in South Florida, Northeast Florida, the Orlando area, and the Tampa Bay area. In addition to documenting the shortage of affordable rental housing statewide, the briefs show that most of the state’s growth since 2000 has come from age 55+ homeowners and renters of all ages, while the state has been losing younger homeowners.

Shimberg Center releases 2019 Rental Market Study

05/14/2019 In Florida, 795,605 low-income households pay more than 40% of their income for rent. That's the key finding of the 2019 Rental Market Study produced by the Shimberg Center for Florida Housing Finance Corporation. The new study also discusses rental housing needs of Florida's elders, persons with disabilities, homeless individuals and families, farmworkers, and fishing workers. View a presentation on the study here.

Shimberg Center launches Housing Florida's Older Adults: By the Numbers

03/21/2018 This new website provides state and county data on demographics, financial status, health, and housing for the 3.3 million Florida residents age 65 and older. Explore the data.

Report: Homeless students in Florida trail their housed peers in attendance, academic, and disciplinary indicators

11/01/2017 Over 72,000 children and youth in Florida were identified as homeless in the 2015-16 school year. These students are temporarily doubled up others or are staying in hotels and motels, shelters, transitional housing, and unsheltered locations. A new study by the Shimberg Center and Miami Homes for All explores the impacts of homelessness and housing instability on education by focusing on these students’ experiences. Learn more.

UF receives HUD grant to retrofit housing for people with disabilities

10/11/2017 A team led by Shimberg Center professor Sherry Ahrentzen was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop methods to retrofit small multifamily buildings to make them affordable, accessible and aesthetically pleasing.

The study will use virtual reality technology to enable persons with disabilities to test designs before they are built. For example, a person with arthritis can test modifications to make doors easier to open by wearing a haptic glove, which allows users to touch and grip virtual objects.

The interdisciplinary research team includes Dr. Ahrentzen, Nicole Campbell, and Bill O’Dell from the Shimberg Center; Stephen Bender, School of Architecture; Ravi Srinivasan, Robert Ries, and Xiaojie Lu, Rinker School of Construction Management; Randy Cantrall, IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Services; Sherrilene Classen and Linda Struckmeyer, Department of Occupational Therapy; and Erin Cunningham, Department of Interior Design.

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