Advocacy Update: Affordable Housing
If you attended the AAGO State of the Market dinner meeting in May you know that our area is leading the country in population and employment growth, and that we expect that trend to continue for some time. Rental housing is also gaining market share with some of our counties seeing as much as 5% reductions in home ownership rates. We just cannot build enough new apartments to keep up with the projected demand. There is no doubt that strong metrics like these mean that this is a great time to be in the “biz.”
Some counties seeing a 5% reduction in home ownership rates!
Our affordable housing supply is even more burdened with 100% occupancies and waitlists a mile long. It is becoming harder and harder for folks of modest incomes to find housing their families can afford. Couple that with an influx of refugees from Hurricane Maria to central Florida and our affordable housing challenge is exacerbated even more.
It should come as no surprise that local governments have felt compelled to react to the crisis. Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties as well as the City of Orlando established a regional affordable housing partnership looking to address the crisis. Many of the potential “solutions” to the crisis are deeply troubling to our industry including new fees, restrictions, and development mandates. In Broward County they have passed an ordinance that adds Source of Income as a Protected Class.
So what are we doing? AAGO staff, leaders, volunteers, and our lobbying partners at Gray Robinson have made this issue a top priority. We are actively engaging local government key staff and elected officials, including the regional partnership I mentioned, to make them aware of how so many of these proposals impose detrimental restrictions on the industry and would serve to make the crisis even worse. Additionally, AAGO is working with other stakeholders such as the Greater Orlando Builders Association, Orlando Realtors, BOMA, The Commission on Homelessness, and many others to workshop potential solutions. We will be reaching out to our local experts (you) to assist us with fact finding, information, and to rally in support when necessary.