The first five houses in a master plan to bring to bring more affordable homes to Broward County were unveiled Monday in Fort Lauderdale's Sistrunk neighborhood.
Continental Development Holding (CDH) has a goal to build 500 units of affordable housing in South Florida by 2024, particularly in the areas of Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach.
The five units inaugurated on Monday have been capped with rent limits, and the idea is to help people spend no more than 30 to 35 percent of their monthly income just on rent.
"Under construction, we have already 10 more units within this same neighborhood," said CEO and a partner at CDH Juan Jurado. "What we want to try to make here, is [to] ensure that people that have lived within this community for generations are able to continue to stay here."
More than half of renters that are cost-burdened in Broward County spend more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent alone, according to the Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment. The report was compiled for the county this past summer by the Florida International University Metropolitan Center, using data from 2018.
County Commissioner Nan Rich was also at the ribbon cutting for the new homes. She's been a champion of affordable housing on the county commission, and said it's a good start to help address the county's affordable housing crisis.
"We need over 100,000 multi-family units right now in Broward County to be built," Rich said. "So, we need more developers, builders who are willing to... take a chance, so-to-speak, on this."
Retiree Beatrice Bray, 68, is moving into one of the CDH's five houses in Sistrunk in January with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. It's three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a garage for just under $2,000 a month. (The average two-bedroom apartment in Fort Lauderdale rents for $1,902 per month.)
Bray said she saw the listing for rent on Gosection8.com, and on the housing site, Trulia. She currently lives in the Sistrunk neighborhood, and she'd been looking for a new place for her family to live in the same area since about August.
"We were just talking about how having a yard in the back would be so important and having your own little space, instead of being in an apartment," Bray said. "It went so smoothly."