affordable housing

The White House is looking at extending a tax break for investments in certain low-income neighborhoods as it tries to find ways to address the devastating impact of the coronavirus on communities of color in America.

A provision in the 2017 tax cut law allows investors to defer and lower their capital gains taxes through 2026 if they invest their profits into designated "opportunity zones" –- areas struggling with high unemployment and low wages.

Tim Chapman / Miami Herald

A plan to add 1,300 affordable rental units to the Florida Keys is a step closer to reality, as a state administrative law judge sided with the cities that want the new units.

A 15-story apartment tower planned for downtown would have become home to the region’s lowest-income residents. But last fall, city officials blocked the project from moving forward on grounds it was not allowed.

Now, the developer has filed lawsuits in both federal and state courts accusing Fort Lauderdale of “explicitly discriminatory” policies and practices. Both lawsuits were filed Friday.

Maria Esquinca

South Florida experts on Tuesday discussed the region's affordable housing problem during a conference held by the Urban Land Institute. 

The panel was one of many during the three-day Housing Opportunity 2020 conference in Miami.

Miami-Dade School Board Looking To Develop Downtown HQ, And Add Housing

Jan 15, 2020
Daniel Bock / MIAMI HERALD

The Miami-Dade County School Board wants to downsize from its 10 acres of prime, development-ready land in downtown Miami.

District officials are turning to a private developer and a community redevelopment agency to leverage its downtown headquarters for office space next door. It’s a move they say will finance the rebuild of two nearby schools, include affordable housing for teachers and the elderly, and eventually direct more dollars that could be used for teacher salaries and educational programs.


The rent is just too high for a lot of people living in South Florida. In Miami, many renters spend at least half of their paychecks on housing.  And consider this: The median household income for people in the city of Miami is $34,000. The average rent is around $1,800 across apartment sizes. That would cost someone making an average income two-thirds of their paycheck before taxes.

The City of Miami ordered a study about a year ago to  help solve its housing affordability crisis, and that plan was released this week by the Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center at FIU.

Miami's Affordable Housing Master Plan Gets Warm Welcome At Unveiling

Jan 9, 2020

The Miami Affordable Housing Master Plan, a radical 10-year road map to address the housing affordability crisis of the 470,000 residents of the City of Miami, was finally unveiled on Wednesday to a mostly positive response.

affordable housing
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

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.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed state budget would fully fund Florida’s two affordable housing programs. He is recommending that all $387 million be used for housing needs.

The Florida Legislature created the affordable housing programs in 1992 by raising the documentary stamp tax on real estate transactions.

The money is supposed to be split between two programs, but it often gets sent elsewhere.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Florida's economy is booming by most economic metrics. The unemployment rate is near a record low. Over 125 million tourists will visit the state this year. And property values are still growing, even though the pace has slowed.


Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Miami’s old Omni district seems to have everything needed for a concerted attack on the city’s housing affordability crisis —acres and acres of vacant land just north of downtown, and a public agency that gets millions in tax revenue to combat poverty and blight. But for years, the much-criticized Omni Community Redevelopment Agency failed to spend a cent on housing.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The nonprofit The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is working on a ballot initiative for Fort Lauderdale voters to consider on the next general elections, on November 3, 2020.

The ordinance would try to prevent alleged discrimination when affordable housing developments get considered.


Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Online home renting sites like Airbnb have greatly expanded the vacation rental market — when travelers rent a home or apartment instead of a hotel room.

Two new studies illustrate the impact that's having on the Florida Keys.

Sam Turken / WLRN

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says lower-income areas around Miami will receive a boost from a federal tax credit meant to spur development.

Carson spoke alongside Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at a summit on Friday to promote the opportunity zone program. It involves giving investors capital gains tax credits to pump cash into poor, underinvested neighborhoods – places identified as opportunity zones. There are over 120 opportunity zones in South Florida with nearly 70 in Miami-Dade County. 


Miami commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a $1 billion spending plan that includes new rent subsidies for low-income seniors, park improvements and surveillance cameras to combat illegal dumping.