Community Residential Homes

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The City of Melbourne provides information for people who are considering operation of a "community residential home," as defined by state law. The City of Melbourne can assist potential home operators in gaining compliance with state law and with local regulations that must be observed before a home can be legally operated.

Community residential homes provide full congregate care for their clients while offering a homelike setting that encourages independence. Examples of individuals using this service include:

  • Frail elder     
  • Physically disabled/handicapped person       
  • Developmentally disabled person   
  • Non-dangerous mentally ill person   
  • Child in need of services  

Additional information regarding licensing requirements is available on the State of Florida website.  

Six or fewer residents may be housed in a single-family building within a residential zoned area (non-commercial).

More than six residents shall be located in a multifamily building located within a commercially zoned area.

Steps to Take

  1. Contact the Community Development Department to determine if zoning of the proposed address is appropriate for the intended use: (321) 608-7500
  2. If more than six residents will be housed in the building, a site plan will have to be reviewed by the Engineering Department: (321) 608-7300.
  3. Housing an unrelated person changes the use of a single-family residence to a “Board and Care Facility” use. This will require a building permit (which shall be obtained by a State-licensed general contractor after review and approval of submitted plans) from the Code Compliance Division: (321) 608-7905.
  4. A Business Tax Receipt will be required, and may be obtained from the Revenue Department: (321) 608-7031
  5. Licensure by the sponsoring agency is required.

Some of the modifications to convert a single-family residence to a “Residential Board & Care Facility” (Small facility, 16 residents or fewer) include:

  1. The structure shall be protected throughout by an approved, automatic fire sprinkler system using  quick response or residential sprinklers.
  2. The fire sprinkler system is required to have electrical supervision (Central station monitoring).
  3. A fire alarm system shall be installed, including smoke detectors and manual pull boxes.
  4. Restrooms shall comply with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
  5. Doors shall be a minimum 32 inches clear width and allow for emergency exiting of clients confined in wheelchairs or beds.

Important Note

Operation of an Assisted Living Facility without first obtaining a license is a second-degree felony. Each day of continued operation is a separate offense.