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Tallahassee City Commissioners to weigh Affordable Housing recommendations Wednesday

Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 19:04:24-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Nineteen percent of Leon County households are paying rent above their means. That number was highlighted during an affordable housing workshop in the county, showcasing the need for better housing options.

Based in the heart of the Frenchtown; the Urban League serves as a resource for people falling on hard times.

President Curtis Taylor said one of the biggest issues is finding a suitable, affordable place to live.

"We have so many of our citizens living paycheck to paycheck. Living on just social security," said Taylor.

Affordable housing is something commissioners will address at their meeting on Wednesday.

They'll look at eight recommendations from the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Some of the highlights include: the city moving to a faster approval process for housing, more types of housing like duplexes, multiplexes, and more community conversations to see what the people want.

Affordable Housing Director Abena Ojetayo said one key change this year is the ability to work with the state for more funding.

"This advisory committee this year has been really active there's been several changes, including Having an elected official on it. There's been a lot of conversation with our partners at the county as well," said Ojetayo.

Ojetayo saidwith an increased demand for affordable housing, they face another challenge; find people ready to build.

"We're actually seeing a challenge in the capacity of a private sector to construct as many units and as quickly as we need it. And so we are putting a call out for any and every contractor private developer to join hands with us because there are more resources that are now available," she said.

Ojetayo added that the other side of the affordable housing issue is dealing with the issues that need to be met before you ever build a house.

That includes adding stormwater drains to areas that could eventually be developed.

"The Commission will be considering investing in stormwater in the south city and a particular site that will be reserved for affordable housing and that's a really good example of how the city could go in first put in that stormwater infrastructure and then create an incentive for the vacant properties around it to also be developed for affordable housing," said Ojetayo.

The Commission will vote on the recommendation Wednesday.