Consider techniques that have worked elsewhere like establishment of affordable housing trust funds, designating a portion of multi-unit dwellings for workforce housing, rent-to-own apartments, and creating incentives for employers to provide assistance with housing.
One of my other priorities is to re-examine our 20-year-old code. The code is the best way to allow for affordable housing and encourage it. We currently don’t allow for smaller lots that would be adequate for smaller homes and shared amenities for a community. The city also has land in surplus that could be turned over to developers for affordable housing. I do think you have to plan for where and how much affordable housing you want in any one area.
A. Consider a process to allow additional density in neighborhoods that petition for such action. This could include granny flats, smaller minimum units, and tiny homes in backyards. Densification would allow more utilization of public transit mobility.
Supporting local business and creating more jobs and better paying jobs. Changing zoning and building codes to make smaller housing options a reality. The rest of the country is moving forward with minimalist housing like container homes and tiny homes and we have run out of room in this city and so it is time to look at such options.
New construction of apartment complexes and condos should be required to be mixed-income. Adjust zoning laws to allow accessory dwelling units such as granny flats. Reduce the size of lots now that the age of McMansions has passed. Allow a beautifully designed tiny home neighborhood to pop up. Detroit has a rent to own program for tiny homes that should be considered. They charge $1 per square foot in rent. Increase the construction of duplex and triplex dwellings with integrated solar roofs and other green features. Strengthen partnerships with nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity and expand the assistance to help first-time buyers make a down payment on a home or others to make much needed repairs.
I will urge council to give a high priority to creating an environment that enables the development, production and rehabilitation of affordable and workforce housing in the city of Clearwater. I recognize the supposed function of the Sadowski Act Funds and will encourage and lean on state and local government officials to ensure that all monies collected for affordable housing should be used for housing initiatives. Additionally, I will work with our partners in local and state government to support key programs and initiatives that encourage, assist and simplify the complicated layers of the existing process associated with affordable housing. Additionally I am supportive of the establishment of a (Community Redevelopment Area) CRA in the (Martin Luther King, Jr.) district to encourage the creation and development of affordable and workforce housing.
Clearwater badly needs more attractive and affordable housing opportunities for the many families that work in Clearwater but cannot afford to live here. The city should look to best practices from around the country to inspire new residential housing for families and revitalizing housing in existing neighborhoods. Clearwater's lack of affordable housing is a significant challenge to our future economic development and for city government and Clearwater-based businesses in attracting talented staff and employees.
Utilizing the assistance of our local banks, realtors and investment companies to create Opportunity Funds and define properties available for development.
We need to look at empty lots the city owns as well as lots that have high lien amounts placed against them. We could negotiate with the owners to forgive the liens in exchange for the properties. We could then partner with nonprofits to build a set of small starter homes for less the $100 per square foot. We also need to encourage, through incentives, set asides of large developments for affordable homes.
The city should set a measurable goal of how many affordable homes we’d like to create or preserve per year. To create more affordable housing units we can leverage vacant public land for housing. We can create and expand housing affordability tools; we can revise the zoning code to allow accessory dwelling units and more creative housing options; we can coordinate public, private and philanthropic sources in the production and preservation of affordable housing; we can ensure equitable growth and minimize displacement and support innovation and streamline the processes to develop affordable housing. Finally, we need to enhance community engagement in all stages of this work. We should develop a holistic and all-inclusive community engagement approach so that residents, businesses, non-profits, foundations, community organizations, public agencies and elected officials can engage in a shared affordable housing conversation.
We are helping Habitat for Humanity with land to build dozens of affordable homes — workforce housing. Two entire neighborhoods have been built with Habitat homes. This should continue. We have helped private development of at least two apartment complexes, with more than 160 apartments; a third workforce housing has been given approval by the City Council. I am pushing for increasing the density of residents by changing the ordinances to allow for tiny homes, and unattached smaller dwellings next to main homes on existing lots that are large enough. That should come to the council this year. We are starting to see apartments renovated and homeless moving in, ones who have some income. This will be expanding. A new seniors high-rise apartment building is opening just east of downtown. We vitally need homes and apartments available for those who work in Clearwater. None of the other three opponents have ever held public office in Florida, and have little or no experience in affordable or work-force housing, or a knowledge of city ordinances in this area. This is no time for on-the-job training.
Certainly a significant issue that, in the absence of affordable housing, adversely affects the many people who work in Clearwater but are forced to live elsewhere, such as Pasco and Hillsborough counties.
As our city continues to grow, it’s important to make sure we have housing that is affordable for residents looking to live and work in our city. It’s important that we provide increased education and subsidies for renovating existing housing stock. This is almost always much more fiscally responsible than new construction. Not only does it provide adequate housing, it also minimizes blight in our neighborhoods. This also helps to preserve the architectural character of a neighborhood.