affordable housing

John Teets

Finding an affordable home in the Florida Keys is a real challenge. And so is finding a home for the Key West homeless shelter.

Key West has had a shelter next to the Monroe County jail on Stock Island for more than a decade. It's called KOTS - which stands for Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter. It houses about 150 people in seven temporary structures.

The city agreed to move KOTS, after residents of a condo and marina complex next door sued. And the sheriff wanted the land to build housing for employees.

AIDS Healthacre Foundation
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) told WLRN Monday that it is rethinking plans for a controversial low-income apartment complex being planned near the city's Downtown.

AHF received widespread criticism from neighbors and city officials about the size of the units and the development's location and density. 

"Overall, we've heard the concerns of the community and of the commission," Southern Bureau Chief for AHF Michael Kahane told WLRN. "We will do what it takes to make this a reality for the folks that so desperately need it."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the Florida Keys, the challenges of finding an affordable place to live were made much worse after Hurricane Irma destroyed or severely damaged thousands of homes in September 2017.

A number of nonprofits and faith groups came in to help after the storm. One church in Marathon was already there — and is taking a big step in providing housing for people in the Keys who lost their homes.

Sam Turken / WLRN

A month after Miami leaders passed an affordable housing mandate for new residential buildings in parts of Downtown, a public redevelopment agency is launching its own efforts to address the city’s affordability crisis.

The Omni Community Redevelopment Agency is investing more than $3 million to help rehabilitate a dilapidated affordable housing complex in Overtown. The project known as 16 Corner is part of a plan to spend more than $100 million by 2045 to improve and increase affordable housing across the greater Omni area.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

More than 100 supporters of the nonprofit The AIDS Healthcare Foundation rallied in front of Fort Lauderdale City Hall Monday night. 

Chanting,"Healthy housing for all!" the group wore white T-shirts that said, "Love Thy Neighbor." 

The foundation is trying to build a 680-unit micro-apartment tower in the city's downtown but has met opposition from nearby residents who expressed concern over lack of services for potentially formerly homeless people living in the building, and about the size and density of the development.  

Brookings Institute

Homes in black neighborhoods in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are being undervalued, according to a study released last month by the Brookings Institute.

In South Florida, homes in predominantly black neighborhoods are valued at $41,000 less than comparable homes in white neighborhoods.

The study, titled “The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods,” found across the country racism plays a role in the value of a home.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The city of Miami announced on Tuesday more than 30 new public infrastructure projects, the initial phase of a multi-year plan to increase the supply of affordable housing, quell flooding and make other city improvements.

Monroe County

When Hurricane Irma slammed across the Lower Keys as a Category 4 storm last year, it hammered what passes for affordable housing — mobile homes and older structures that weren't elevated.

For people who are left with a piece of land but not a lot of money to rebuild, Monroe County plans to commission four tiny homes as a pilot project.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On paper, Marta Figueroa spent more than 30 years living in a mobile home. But in reality, the two-bedroom plywood house, located in a trailer park, was not mobile at all. 

After a developer purchased the 10-acre mobile park lot last March and won approval from the city of Hialeah to rezone the area to a mix of commercial and new apartments, Figueroa learned she would have to abandon her home by February 2019.

affordable housing
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Community leaders and officials from the nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) defended a proposed high-rise tower dedicated to low-income housing in downtown Fort Lauderdale Tuesday. 

Over the last week, city residents have expressed opposition to the project on social media, citing doubts over how well potential residents would be vetted. Some people have asked if the units are only for people living with HIV, or if the building is a shelter.

Ben Sorensen

Fort Lauderdale’s vice mayor is a key player in the city’s efforts to help the homeless population by providing them with yearlong housing, job opportunities and mental health services.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

The city of Miami is close to passing a first-of-its-kind ordinance that will require developers to include affordable housing units in new buildings for a section of the city that is currently undergoing a boom.

The policy was passed unanimously by the City Commission during a first hearing earlier this month. There will be a second hearing on Dec. 13, when it appears likely to become law.

Fort Lauderdale
Kevin Verbeem via Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Voters in Broward County decided Tuesday to create a dedicated trust fund for affordable housing programs.

The trust fund creates a localized version of the state's affordable housing fund, the Sadowski Fund. But unlike the Sadowski fund, money in Broward's fund must be used exclusively on housing projects and programs. 

Future county commissions can choose how much money to contribute each year, but will not be forced to contribute a specific amount. 

 

Fort Lauderdale
Kevin Verbeem via Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Broward County voters have a lot to decide this election. 

Every voter in the county will get 12 ballot questions; there are up to nine amendment questions, depending on the city. 

One of those amendments: a trust fund to make the cost of housing in Broward more affordable. We explain what's at stake. 

Fort Lauderdale
Kevin Verbeem via Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Broward County is the most cost-burdened area in the country, according to a Harvard study. Residents are paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent alone.

 

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