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According to Experts, the Economy Is Threatened by a Lack of Affordable Housing

Speakers at a housing conference last week claimed that a lack of affordable housing in Palm Beach County has begun to impede the county’s economic growth, to the point where its recent expansion is in peril.

According to Kelly Smallridge, chief executive of the county’s Economic Development Board, some companies interested in shifting their headquarters to Palm Beach County have placed their plans on hold until the situation improves.

According to her, one company considered purchasing an apartment complex for its staff but was unable to do so due to financial constraints.

According to Smallridge, a few employees have resigned days after being hired because they were unable to find accommodation that matched their pay.

“We have a difficult time finding and retaining people,” said Clinton Forbes, executive director of Palm Tran, the county’s bus system. People prefer to live close to their workplace, and our drivers find it difficult to do so.”

According to online calculators, a bus driver’s beginning pay is $65,000.

That is something we sorely need,” he said, emphasising that as more units are created, prices will drop.

Others have questioned whether it is prudent to pursue the bond at a time of high inflation and with funds left over from previous county housing projects.

Bernard, who represents Riviera Beach and areas of central Palm Beach Government, also admitted that the county needed to “make better use of current monies.”


Some people want to put a vote on a $200 million housing bond on the ballot box.

The bond issue will provide a dedicated source of capital for developers, according to Jack Weir, president of Eastwind Development, another panel participant.

He anticipates the funds to be utilised for “gap” financing, which will provide low-interest loans to cover a portion of the costs of building apartments and condominiums. Builders would have to set aside some homes at below-market prices.

The county’s worker housing programme aims to provide affordable housing for persons working in critical fields including education, healthcare, and public safety.

The rents that developers who participate in it can charge are proportional to household income: the lower the income, the cheaper the rent. The rentals range from 60% to 1400% of the average household income.

For households earning up to $63,280, rents for a one-bedroom apartment, for example, must be capped to $1,318. For a household earning $110,740, rent can reach $2,306 per month.

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New residential complexes are required by the county to set aside a percentage of their units for low-income families.

Developers can enhance the density of their constructions in exchange, often by more than doubling the zoning rule allows. Units with one to four bedrooms are subject to the rental limits.

Unincorporated places must follow the county’s rules. Local governments may have their own set of rules.

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