Palm Beach County Hosts 'Affordable Housing Crisis' Summit

May 29, 2017

Palm Beach County is taking steps to combat South Florida's affordable housing problem. 


On Wednesday, county officials will host a six-hour summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center to address what some are calling "a crisis," as low- and mid-range wage workers struggle to find an affordable place to live, according to the Palm Beach Post

 Even though the county's annual household income increased to an average of about $67,900, the cost of places to live  is increasing at faster rates, according to Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. Data shows the median price  of single-family homes had increased by 9 percent to about $325,000 while the median price of  condos and townhouses had increased 4.5 percent to about $162,000 since March 2016.  

Some commissioners say its time for a change in an 11-year "workforce housing" program that allows developers to skip building a certain amount of affordable homes in new developments for an opt-out fee of $80,000.

Some cities charge far more, like Delray Beach, which charges $160,000 and Jupiter, which charges $200,000. Throughout the program's existence, only 754 multi-family units were built, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Attendees planning to go the summit must pay $25 to participate. Henry Cisneros, who was secretary of housing and urban development in the Clinton administration, will be the keynote speaker.