JCRC Blog – Palm Beach County’s November 8 Affordable Housing Ballot Initiative

Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has partnered with Federation’s Career & Community Resources (CCR) to bring you information about an initiative on the November 8, 2022, voting ballot addressing the affordable housing crisis in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County Housing Bond aims to help essential workers and families who have been priced out of Palm Beach County’s housing market.

Currently, available housing has a shortfall of more than 20,000 units. Also, 57 percent of renter households and 30 percent of homeowner households spend more than one third of their income on housing. Rent has increased by more than 30 percent annually, and home prices have increased by more than 25 percent. Businesses are understaffed, and positions remain unfilled because workers cannot afford to live near the businesses that employ them.

This $200 million housing bond will increase the supply of affordable housing by providing low-interest loans to developers to build affordable housing.

Here’s how the bond works:

  • For rental housing, developers will receive gap financing that lowers their cost of capital so they can set aside rental units at below-market rents.
  • For sale homes, builders will receive financing to cover the gap between the cost of producing the homes and selling them at lower prices to workforce households.
  • The impact of the bonds will be increased by combining proceeds with other public funds, debt from private lenders and equity from private investors.

The goal is to produce 20,000 workforce and affordable housing units over the next 10 years. This will cost the average homeowner approximately $14 per year. The bond is part of a comprehensive housing plan that includes funding and financing, planning and regulatory reform, neighborhood revitalization and racial equity.

JCRC and CCR encourage you to learn more about the Palm Beach County Housing Bond and the affordable housing crisis by visiting www.hlcpbc.org.