Viewing posts categorised under: Workforce Family Housing

From elderly to kids not moving out, lack of axordable housing a concern in Palm Beach County

News, Workforce Family Housing / 13.02.20200 comments

By Larry Keller Special to The Post
Posted Feb 4, 2020, at 6:15 PM

Re-printed from The Palm Beach Post

Speaking at The Kravis Center, President and CEO of Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County Suzanne Cabrera said residents who are elderly, disabled or have special needs sometimes pay more than 80 percent of their income on housing.

Suzanne Cabrera fields an array of phone calls from people desperate for an affordable place to live in her position as president and CEO of Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County.

“I get a lot of calls from the elderly,” she told an audience of perhaps 400 people at a Kravis Center luncheon sponsored by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. “But the second-highest category is parents saying I need my kid to move out of the house. We don’t have basements in Florida where your kids can live with your forever,” she said to laughter.

Cabrera was on a panel that provided a lot more sobering assessments than laughs when discussing the causes and potential solutions to affordable housing in Palm Beach County.

Ideally, nobody should be paying more than 30 percent of their income for Cabrera said. But according to data she provided, more than 250,000 Palm Beach County households spent more than that percentage, with 135,000 of them spending more than 50 percent of income toward housing. Residents who are elderly, disabled or have special needs sometimes pay more than 80 percent of their income on housing.

The average home price in Palm Beach County is $350,000, so a household would need an income of more than $116,000 in order to spend less than 30 percent on its housing costs, Cabrera said. The average rent of $1,620 would require an income of more than $58,000 to not exceed the 30-percent threshold.

The county’s population has grown 12 percent in the past 10 years, and housing units have not kept pace, said Jack Weir, president of Eastwind Development Group. “We’re just not producing that many units, across the board. “West Palm Beach is trying to attract financial services companies … and those businesses are not going to come here and the businesses here are not going to be able to grow if they can’t have housing for their folks who are working.”

Panelists said the problem would be less dire if the state legislature didn’t divert vast sums of money intended for the construction and retrofitting of affordable housing to other programs. Known as the State Housing (or Sadowski) Trust Fund, it was created in 1992 by having doc stamps on all real estate transactions being earmarked for the fund. The hotter the real estate market, the more money would be generated for affordable housing.

In the past nine years, according to Cabrera’s data, Palm Beach County has contributed $251.9 million from doc stamps, but $157.7 million has been diverted by legislators for other purposes.

In the last fiscal year alone, the county could have received $17 million from the doc stamp revenue, Weir said. “Instead, it got $2 million. “One of the first things the Legislature could do is treat it as a trust fund and not a slush fund.”

Weir urged the audience to push legislators to use the fund for its intended purpose. Another solution, he said, is issuing bonds. Miami-Dade County issued a $400 million bond, with $100 million designated for affordable housing. The city of Miami has issued $85 million in bonds for affordable housing. Orange County has established a $160 million fund over 10 years designed to create 30,000 affordable housing units, he said.

“It may be time for Palm Beach County to think about a dedicated funding source for affordable and workforce housing,” Weir added.

Short-term solutions, Weir said, include cities providing density bonuses for a percentage of new units to be built for workforce housing, reductions or waivers of some building fees in return for some units being set aside for affordable or workforce housing, and low-interest loans from municipalities to developers of such properties.

The county does some of these things, said Jonathan B. Brown, director of the Palm Beach County Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability. “It’s not just the county,” he said. “There has to be assistance from the municipalities. You would probably be surprised at the number of municipalities that don’t even have a housing department or a housing division.”

Based on survey done more than a year ago, 80 percent of county employees qualified for the workforce housing program, Brown said. The figure tops 90 percent for teachers, he added.

“Our own employees are not being able to find housing,” said another panel member, Wellington mayor Anne Gerwig. “We have adjusted some pay because of that. If you can’t live in the community you work in, it creates a whole other problem with transportation.”

Brown reminded the audience that employed homeless people living in their vehicles also need to be considered when discussing affordable housing. “That’s a population that we don’t want to forget about. They are part of this community and we need to make sure that we’re vigilant in addressing housing for our homeless population.”

Weir said another partial solution to the housing crisis in the future is mixed use developments. “One of the most exciting frontiers right now is redevelopment and repurposing of existing retail centers and commercial space,” he said, citing older shopping centers with vacant retail units along U.S. 1, Dixie Highway and Military Trail.

“A lot of those can be re-purposed and turned into mixed-use centers where they have housing, they have retail, they have restaurants, they have office,” Weir said. “We’re doing one of those developments in another county. That’s going to be a ready source of new housing units, a fair share of which will be affordable or workforce housing in the coming years.”


New Rental Community Coming to West Palm Beach’s Warehouse District

Affordable Housing, properties, Workforce Family Housing / 10.12.20190 comments

A new project, The District Flats rental community is coming to in West Palm Beach’s popular Warehouse District. The 178-unit multi-family development will be located at 1050 Blanche Street and will be a key addition to a neighborhood that has become a favorite destination for millennials…of all ages!

The District Flats will feature a modern industrial designed, four-story building surrounding a central courtyard, swimming pool and deck area; a three-story building surrounding a garden amphitheater; and a three-level, 250-space parking garage enhanced by a large mural at the entry.

A dog park and a public park at the south end of the site are planned, and the project will also include 2,700 sq. ft. of commercial space that will be home to a stylish cafe. There will be 26 studio apartments; 86 one-bedroom, one-bath units; and 48 two­ bedrooms, two-bath apartments, along with a 3,000 sq. ft. clubhouse.

“This project will not only answer the growing need for housing around Downtown West Palm Beach but will also help solidify the Warehouse District as the city’s hub of urban activity,” said Jack Weir, founder, and managing partner

“The city has a tremendous need for affordable housing, and I’m glad that Eastwind Development was going to provide a portion of that,” West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said at the groundbreaking ceremony, Thursday, December 5.

AH, units will feature nine-foot ceilings, keyless door entries programmable thermostats, tile & wood plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, pendant light fixtures, bedroom ceiling fans, and energy and water conservation features designed to lower monthly resident utility bills.

The development will also feature a set-aside for work.force housing. Twenty (20%) percent (36 units) in the community will be set aside for households with an annual income equal or less than 140% of the 2018 annual median income (J\1Vf I) for Palm Beach County for studios ($75,460 income ), 1 BR units ($80,850 income ) and 2 BR units ($97,020 income ) at the time of initial leasing, Rents for the workforce housing units are not projected to be lower than market rents. The workforce housing restrictions will last for a period of 15 years.


Bridgewater at Lake Osborne – Lantana, FL

properties, Workforce Family Housing / 28.05.20140 comments

Bridgewater at Lake Osborne is a 108 unit Class A luxury multifamily rental housing community that is located on the shores of Lake Osborne in central Palm Beach County.  The development site is located ½ mile west of Interstate 95, the main north-south interstate arterial highway serving Palm Beach County, on the south side of Lantana Road.  The property is centrally located between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, the two major urban areas and employment centers of Palm Beach County, Florida’s third largest county by population.  The scenic wide waters of Lake Osborne provide a spectacular backdrop for 108 luxury townhomes and garden apartments that are built to luxury condominium quality on a 9.6 acre site.  The 400 acres of Lake Osborne offer a superb environment for fishing, water skiing, boating and jet skiing.  Bridgewater appeals to water sport enthusiasts by offering a boat ramp providing access to Lake Osborne, as well as a parking lot that can be used for storing boat trailers. In addition to access to Lake Osborne, the community features a waterside resort-style pool and a sunset pavilion, as well as a tot lot and bus shelter for children.

The unit mix of Bridgewater at Lake Osborne consists of 26 2BR/2B garden units, 52 3BR/2B garden units, and 30 3BR/2.5B townhome units.  The units range in size from approximately 1,200 square feet for a 2BR unit to nearly 2,000 square feet for the 3 BR townhome units. All of the units have direct access garages and patios or balconies.  Unit finishes include nine foot ceilings, granite countertops, wood cabinets and stainless steel appliances.  The site also offers restricted access entry.


Riverwalk Pointe at Mangrove Bay – Jupiter, FL

properties, Workforce Family Housing / 25.05.20140 comments

Riverwalk Pointe at Mangrove Bay is one of our newest communities and is currently in lease-up. It is a planned 104 unit Class A luxury multifamily rental housing community developed in the Mangrove Bay PUD (planned unit development) on the west side of US Highway 1, approximately 1 mile south of Indiantown Road, in the Town of Jupiter in northern Palm Beach County.  This community serves residents aged 55 and older.  The Mangrove Bay PUD is a luxury adult community situated on over 16 acres consisting of 26 attractive one-story duplex villas on the west side, a 157 unit combined assisted living facility and independent living facility in the northwest corner, and Riverwalk Pointe at Mangrove Bay is located on the east side.  All three PUD components share access from Mangrove Bay Way, an attractive heavily landscaped entry road, and have access to and views of the Intracoastal Waterway.  Mangrove Bay is bordered on the west by the Town of Jupiter’s Riverwalk, a 2.5 mile linear park that extends along the east bank of the Intracoastal Waterway starting south of the site and extending north of Indiantown Road to the southern shore of the Jupiter Inlet; and there is excellent access to it as well as the nearby Jupiter Yacht Club, which offers retail, dining and a marina.

The development plan features two attractive four-story elevator buildings with an additional level of underground structured parking.  Riverwalk Pointe at Mangrove Bay was designed with active adults in mind offering, a central clubhouse with a business center and fitness room, as well as an opulent pool and landscaped deck area.  The unit mix consists of 18 1BR/1B units, 70 2BR/2B units, and 16 3BR/2B units, and unit sizes range in size from approximately 900 square feet for a 1BR unit to over 1,300 square feet for the 3 BR units.


Tarpon Harbour – Marathon, Florida

properties, Workforce Family Housing / 20.05.20142 comments

Tarpon Harbour is a planned 106 unit Class A multifamily rental housing community that is being developed in the City of Marathon on the ocean side of the Overseas Highway (U.S. 1) near Mile Marker 51.  The Overseas Highway is the main transit corridor between Homestead, 77 miles to the east, and Key West, 50 miles to the west.

The development plan calls for 106 new units that will consist of 53 townhouse duplex buildings.  There will be 62 units with two bedrooms and 2.5 baths and 44 units with three bedrooms and 2.5 baths.  The ground floor of each duplex will be reserved for covered parking, the second floor will have a kitchen, living room, dining room and 1/2 bathroom; and the top floor will have either two bedrooms or three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.  All 106 units will also have a porch, the duplexes will be constructed utilizing a manufactured modular system that will be anchored to foundations resting on concrete pilings; they will feature impact glass and are designed to absorb a wind load of up to 180 mph, consistent with the most stringent hurricane protection codes in the Florida Keys.  Boat slips will be available to community residents.  There will be a clubhouse and two pools for residents.  Sixty-two of the units, consisting of 48 two bedroom units and 14 three bedroom units, will be required to be workforce housing units, restricted to a maximum rent affordable to households earning 120% of median income in Monroe County.

Leasing is slated to begin in January 2016.


High Ridge Landing – Boynton Beach, Florida

properties, Workforce Family Housing / 06.02.2014

High Ridge Landing, currently under construction in South Palm Beach County,  will consist of 8 buildings and a clubhouse that will feature Key West style architecture that will built on a 8.3 acre site. There will be a total of 184 garden style residential units consisting of, 48 1 BR units, 112 2 BR units and 24 3 BR units. Unit sizes will range from approximately 850 to 1,250 square feet. All units will feature 9 ft. ceilings, wood plank flooring, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. There will be 30 detached garages available on the site. Amenities will include a 4,000 square foot community center that will contain a management office, fitness center, business center social areas, swimming pool and deck area.  Wifi service will be available throughout the amenity area.

High Ridge - Rendering 10-8-14