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Dailey picks up ideas to address Tallahassee's housing and homeless problems during a trip to D.C.

The domed roof of the U.S. Capitol is bathed in morning sunlight as it sticks out, above the trees.
U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Robert Garcia's office
wikimedia commons
Picture of a sunrise at the United States Capitol building, taken January 3, 2023

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey joined up with colleagues from across the country recently at the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s winter meeting. It was in Washington D.C. One of his big takeaways? Other cities are experiencing many of the same issues as Tallahassee—like housing, and homelessness.

“[Those] are top priority in many different communities. [Along with] economic development [and] how we are trying to work hard to keep our communities safe and our neighborhoods safer. And how we move our communities forward. A lot of the issues we talked about at the city retreat and at our city commission meeting, I’m having the exact same conversations, just with mayors across the country.”

His trip to the nation’s capital came a day after the Tallahassee city commission finished its retreat and worked on policy priorities. Commissioners dedicated a significant amount of time to housing and homelessness, as the number of unhoused people has increased over the past several years and has become far more visible. Dailey said he picked up some tips on ways to quickly house people who may be unsheltered.

“The one product, in particular, I had the opportunity to look at—it’s not a 3D printed house, but not a temporary house either—it’s a permanent structure, but it’s easy to assemble. I thought the technology was pretty interesting and it’s something I’m looking forward to learning more about,” said Dailey.

Dailey did not name the product he described, but several cities are starting to experiment with what’s called pallet housing. It’s a quick-to-assemble modular building that is pre-fabricated and, according to the company’s website, can go up quickly. In Boston, MA, an 18-unit shelter build went up in 14 days.

The mayors' conference also gave Dailey an opportunity to speak with federal officials and agencies to promote what Tallahassee has to offer, such as its universities, research opportunities, and a new international wing at the airport that is slated for completion next year.

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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