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Affordable housing initiatives gaining traction in Tallahassee

Posted at 7:10 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 19:47:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Ian Waldick with the Leon County and Tallahassee Affordable Housing Committee says the joint task force during Monday's meeting wants to see the county mirror the City of Tallahassee's mandatory Inclusional Housing Policy.

"The idea is that whenever you have big developers coming into the community, I think the threshold is trending 50 units or more, we want those folks to be required to make some portion of their development affordable."

That policy mandates around 10 percent of homes in some wealthier developments with more than 50 homes to be set aside for affordable housing.

Waldick explains the consequences if there aren't more affordable housing solutions in the area:

"You're going to have a need for workers but no place for workers to live," said Waldick.

And while the advisory committee works on solutions for everyone, the City of Tallahassee will be work shopping ideas to bring more affordable housing to essential workers as well.

"The recommendation is to develop some strategies that would be for a targeted group of personnel," said Director of Housing & Community Resilience Abena Ojetayo.

Most starting salaries for essential workers like firefighters, police officers and nurses start around $44,000 to $50,000 according to the city's agenda item.

Ojetayo explained to ABC 27, with the cost of living in Tallahassee going up three percent every year, many are worried essential workers could get priced out of their homes.

For solutions that may get tossed around the commission meeting range from dedicating certain area developments to essential workers or expanding on the city's down payment loan program.