Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

Offering housing solutions

- Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentine­ Follow on Twitter @LisaHurias­h

She said the theory in offering incentives is comparable to what Broward County is already doing: Last year the county announced a plan to spend millions of dollars to help with buying land and the constructi­on of more than 1,000 new apartments.

Officials said at the time if government wasn’t intervenin­g, the homes may never be built.

“You have to give them some carrot to get them to be interested in doing this,” Rich said. “This is not a bad thing. This is a very good thing.”

But other local leaders worry the efforts aren’t nearly enough.

“While this might give incentives to developers, it gives little to help those” who are right now “experienci­ng this rent crunch that’s putting them in desperate situations,” said Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz. The effort is “solely based on some sort of hope of a trickle-down solution.

“That is not giving any benefit in the current situation in the next six months or the next 12 months or in the near future.” Housing experts agree. “We haven’t seen that support for affordable housing in quite some time,” said Edward Murray, associate director with the Jorge M. Perez Metropolit­an Center at Florida Internatio­nal University.

“There’s an unpreceden­ted affordable housing crisis, not just here but statewide and national. I don’t think it [the bill] provides enough. What we’re dealing with is unpreceden­ted, and it’s going to take unpreceden­ted legislatio­n.

“I don’t think anything in the bill focuses on those who are in the greatest need: our renters, our working renters who provide the most of the support for our economy. Those are the issues that still need to be addressed.”

Still, others say Tallahasse­e is at least paying attention.

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