The final results of a two-part Affordable Housing Study were presented at the October 6th, 2022 Commission meeting. The study was conducted by the East to West Development Corporation and presented by City Staff and the East to West Development Corporation.
Assistant City Manager Jennifer Frastai provided some background on this study to the Commission and residents.
Part One of the study was conducted and completed in 2020 by the East to West Development Corporation. The Corporation provided the results of Part One to the City Commission in May of 2021. This first part of the study took a “thirty-thousand-foot look” at affordable housing inventory in Oakland Park in order to create a strategic assessment of the affordable housing needs in the City.
Part Two of this study was presented at the October 6th, 2022 Commission Meeting by Daniel Rosemond, Founder and CEO of East to West Development Corporation. Mr. Rosemond described to the Commission this final report with details of the findings, which included housing inventory, market information, best practices, conclusions, and recommendations.
This final report highlights the amount of inventory of subsidized housing, housing inventory data and affordable/workforce housing that is in the development pipeline.
The report shows that despite the increases in rent since the tail end of the pandemic, Oakland Park does have an inventory of naturally occurring affordable housing. These are not subsidized units, but their rent limits are within the limits or in some cases even lower than the Effective Rent Per Unit (ERPU) published by Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
There are two major housing developments currently in the pipeline which will provide new affordable housing units: The Sky Building and The Horizon of Oakland Park development also know as Hoop Development.
The Sky Building, to be located at N Dixie Hwy and NE 38th Street, will provide 119 residential apartment units and 21 live/work units. 100% of the units will service residents earning no more than 140% of AMI (Average Monthly Income) for five years.
The Hoop Development, to be located at the current City Hall site, will have 319 residential units. Of those units 36 will serve residents earning between 120% – 140% of AMI for five years.
It is understood that many of these strategy recommendations will require varying levels of administrative oversight to implement and may therefore be cost prohibitive at this time. Oakland Park is not an Entitlement Community, because its population at the last census was less than 50,000. As a result, it does not qualify for Federal grant dollars and Federal allocations associated with this program, and therefore these funds are not available to specifically address these recommendations.
A public hearing on this item was required and was held immediately after the presentation for anyone wishing to speak on this report.
Resident Steven Arnst spoke and stated that “Indeed Oakland Park is not an Entitlement City, so we are not entitled to the Federal dollars needed to implement many of these recommendations.” He went on to say, “Establishing a Housing Authority would be a big undertaking.”
Mr. Arnst suggested that the City work more closely with Habitat For Humanity and provide them with City owned residential lots to construct more affordable homes. He also suggested that the City could get more aggressive with dilapidated or abandoned residential properties that have massive code enforcement liens against them and begin foreclosing on these properties. The properties could then be rehabilitated and provided to Habitat For Humanity for affordable housing for homebuyers.
The City Commission voted 5-0 to Accept the Phase 2 Affordable Housing Study from East to West Development Corporation.
Jeff Barnes has lived in Oakland Park since 2001. Originally from Denver Colorado, Jeff moved here for the sunshine and he never looked back. He is a past board member of The Corals Of Oakland Park Neighborhood Association where he served as Vice President 2017-2020 and President from 2020 to 2021.
Jeff has lived on both the West and East sides of Oakland Park and is very well versed in Oakland Park history. A very active citizen, you will often see him at all the local Oakland Park events and meetings.
Jeff has worked in the Commercial Real Estate Management field for 20 years in downtown Fort Lauderdale. His hobbies include, classic movies, travel, writing and pretty much anything outdoors, weather permitting.