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City leaders look to solve affordable housing crisis in creative ways

As many people face evictions and homelessness city leaders are looking to other cities for ideas
Posted at 11:14 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 23:14:52-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Scarce is how City leaders describe affordable housing in Tallahassee.

But they say to change that may require thinking outside the box.

"There's a lot of creative solutions that other cities are already implementing successfully that we need to considering and investing public dollars in," said City Commissioner Jack Porter.

Porter is talking about Wichita, Kansas.

The housing authority purchased a hotel to create affordable housing for people in their community.

The money to fund it came from federal relief.

"When the CARES funding became available not direct allocations to state that came from the treasury but the money that came directly from HUD," said Sally Stang the director of housing in Wichita.

Stang says the department recommends buying hotels to use for homeless shelters.

They took a step further, collaborating with the city and their continuum of care.

"The idea was then was that we would rehabilitate rooms, add kitchenettes so that we would be converting each of those hotel rooms into small studio apartments," Stang said.

Tallahassee Housing Authority Executive Director says something needs to be done with their wait-list growing.

"Unfortunately the housing authority doesn't have the resources to address the need. We're hopeful that the stimulus package that has recently passed through congress we're hoping there are some resources there," said Brenda Williams.

Porter saying to address this it's going to need to be a collaborative effort.

"Our next steps are continuing to engage with stakeholder and community groups who have been talking about this for a long time."

Commissioner Porter holds a Town Hall meeting every Thursday at 7 p.m. on Facebook.