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Palm Beach County launches affordable housing dashboard amid home price crisis

A home.
Wilkine Brutus
One of three homes built for families in Lake Worth Beach as part of a nearly $1-million affordable housing project unveiled earlier this year.

Palm Beach County has launched a county-wide dashboard to help residents keep tabs on affordable and workforce housing projects.

The housing dashboard can be accessed online at Palm Beach County’s website.

Through a new central online location, residents looking for housing options can now access information and updates surrounding affordable units. County officials view the dashboard as another way to help alleviate the ongoing housing crisis.

The median price for a home in Palm Beach County now sits at $650,000 — more than 7% up from this time last year, according to a tri-county realtors group for Broward, the Palm Beaches and St. Lucie.

Palm Beach County's Progress Report Dashboard for Affordable/Workforce Housing developments
Palm Beach County's Progress Report Dashboard for Affordable/Workforce Housing developments

The interactive dashboard will offer data and insights on housing trends, cost of living, county housing programs and incomes, among other information.

“This dashboard was created to share information with our residents looking for housing options,” said Jonathan Brown, the county’s director of Housing & Economic Development, in a statement. “And we will continue to add additional resources that will assist the community through this housing crises.”

READ MORE: New affordable homes in Palm Beach County help 'build a community' - one family at a time

South Florida is part of an affordable housing crisis impacting the entire country.

This week, the Biden administration announced new steps to increase access to affordable housing as still-high prices on groceries and other necessities and high interest rates have dramatically pushed up the cost of living in the post-pandemic years.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen promoted the new investments on Monday during a visit to Minneapolis.

The investments include providing $100 million through a new fund to support affordable housing financing over the next three years, boosting the Federal Financing Bank’s financing of affordable housing and other measures.

The increased attention to home prices comes as the housing crunch becomes a growing issue in this year's presidential election campaign.

“We face a very significant housing supply shortfall that has been building for a long time,” Yellen said in a speech Monday afternoon. “This supply crunch has led to an affordability crunch.”

Both homebuyers and renters are facing increasing housing costs that skyrocketed after the pandemic.

READ MORE: Palm Beach commissioners debate how to spend $200 million bond to stem housing crisis

According to the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, home prices in the U.S. increased by 46% between March 2020 and March 2024.

A new Treasury analysis shows that over the past two decades, housing costs have been rising faster than incomes.

For low-income Americans, statistics from the National Low Income Housing Coalition show that nationally there is a shortage of more than 7 million affordable homes for the more than 10.8 million extremely low-income U.S. families. And there is no state or county in the country where a renter working full-time at minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to the group.

Increased housing costs have some economists predicting the crunch may not end until the Federal Reserve lowers its key interest rate, which remains at 5.3%.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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