Leon County and Tallahassee leaders are looking for ways to grow the area's affordable housing stock
Leon County and Tallahassee commissioners will hold a joint workshop Tuesday to discuss affordable housing. The two boards are expected to look into ways to beef up their inclusionary housing policies. Those are the rules used to incentivize or require developers to build affordable housing units as part of their projects.
The city and county both have inclusionary housing policies, but the city’s mandatory policy has been used just twice and has helped create only about 70 affordable housing units since it went into effect in 2005. The county’s voluntary policy has never been used at all. A report from city and county staff shows other Florida municipalities, like Palm Beach, have created thousands of affordable housing units using their inclusionary housing policies.
During the upcoming workshop commissioners are expected to talk about plans to improve their programs. Recommendations from staff include expanding the area that is covered under the policy rules, including multi family developments such as apartments as well as the single-family homes that are included now, and reducing the unit threshold. Staff recommends for any project exceeding 20 units, either single family or multi-family, 10 percent of those units should be reserved for affordable housing.
Right now, the city's policy applies only to single-family developments in portions of the city where income levels are above the area median income. It requires developments of more than 50 single family units to reserve at least 10 percent of those units for affordable housing.