Having a proper and safe home where you can grow, develop, and take care of your family’s needs, is one of the most important things in life. Some people take having a sheltered home for granted. However, this is what provides you with security and stability. This way you can move forward and turn your attention to other great challenges that life has to offer. Things such as finding a suitable job, offering your children a good example together with your help whenever they need it. You can’t really focus on your life when affordable housing is a problem. If this is the case, i.e. if you have been struggling with your finances and paying the rent, you might consider affordable housing. If you are not sure what affordable housing is and if you are eligible for it, we will try to provide some explanations here.
What Is Considered Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing is a dwelling that a family or an individual can afford for 30 percent or less of their income. One of the biggest priorities of local governments is to make sure everyone has a decent home to live in. Therefore, housing policy is what these governments have to deal with. This is the reason why apartment owners and developers who agree to offer reduced rental rates to low-income tenants get tax credits. As long as these developers keep the rents for these low-income families affordable, they continue getting the tax credits.
Who Is Eligible for Affordable Housing?
Individuals and families spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing might need affordable housing. Paying high rent it might be difficult for them to afford necessities such as food, clothing, medical care or transport. According to The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it is estimated that there are 12 million households (both renters and homeowners) paying more than 50 percent of their annual income on housing. Thus, a person earning the minimum wage in his/her full-time job cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment. However, this differs from city to city and depends on the Area Median Income (AMI). The AMI is what determines who can afford to rent an apartment based on where they live and on their income. HUD determines the AMI for every region in the country and, for example, a household is considered low-income in case it earns less than 80 percent of the median income of the local area. Nevertheless, even if you or your family spend more than 30 percent of your income on housing, that does not mean you will be able to qualify for affordable housing. In fact, it is considered that if your income is too low, you will not be able to afford the part of the rent cost even when subsidized. This means that if you earn 50 percent or slightly more of the AMI, you might not be able to qualify.
What Is Affordable Housing Program?
Although the demand for affordable housing is high and some low-income families have been waiting for this type of housing for years, it is more expensive to construct an affordable building than renters can pay. Therefore, it is not that easy to motivate developers to build more affordable units, especially if they can build more luxurious buildings and set high rent rates for these apartments. Thus, the demand for affordable housing exceeds supply not only in urban areas but also in the suburbs. Fortunately, there are programs, such as the affordable housing one, that is trying to deal with this issue using various methods – How does affordable housing work?
- Rent control limits the frequency and amount the rent raises in order to protect the vulnerable populations from eviction. This is especially important in areas where rents are increasing fast which is very often the case in cities with lots of renters, like New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. States decide how rent control is implemented.
- Mixed-income buildings offer some units for people making between 30 and 60 percent of the AMI and, thus, are charged less than market rent. In returns for these units, developers are recouped in tax credits, grants, vouchers, etc.
- Housing vouchers are one of the main methods for housing subsidizing in the United States. Families who get these vouchers can choose the location and type of the apartment they would like to rent and, what is more, will only pay 30 percent of their household income for rent as the voucher covers the rest. However, you should bear in mind that vouchers are limited and some families could be on the waiting list for years before they qualify.
What Are Public Housing and Section 8?
Public housing is government-owned housing providing affordable and adequate housing to people in need, i.e. low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. It is also considered affordable housing as the government sets the rates of the rental. The rent is based on the family’s annual income. There might be some deductions from the annual income such as certain allowances for all dependents, a person with a disability, an elderly family, and in some cases, medical deductions, as well.
On the other hand, the Housing Choice Voucher Program or Section 8 helps families afford their rents by using the voucher to pay for all or a part of the rent rates. There are two types of Section 8:
- the tenant-based one where the renters get the voucher directly and, thus, can choose the apartment community and
- the project-based one where landlords get the subsidy and they agree to offer some units for the families who qualify for affordable housing.
How to Apply for Affordable Housing?
This depends on the type of affordable housing you would like to get. If you are interested in public housing or Section 8, contact the public housing agency in your state. When it comes to affordable housing, you can look for an apartment complex or developers who offer this. Check the eligibility criteria and contact them directly.
A lot of people are struggling to pay for a decent home. Some households spend larger parts of their budgets on housing than on anything else. Housing prices are rising faster than wages in many US states, thus making it almost impossible for low-income families, the elderly, youth, and families with children to find good quality and, at the same time, affordable and appropriate housing. However, we should be aware of the fact that those households that are struggling to pay their housing expenses are faced with various other challenges. These usually include not having enough money for health care, education, and healthy meals. In turn, these issues may introduce further problems such as diseases, lower school attendance, and employment opportunities, unmanageable debts, homelessness, and poverty. This is no longer a problem for these families only, it very quickly becomes the problem of the whole community and society.
Home is so much more than just a roof and walls, it provides safety, comfort, hope, and opportunities for growth and development of not only the family members living behind that door but also their neighbors and the whole community. All people deserve equal opportunities and should be able to afford a stable and safe home. Let’s together help the families in need by providing them with a chance to lead stable and safe lives.
By Jill Fox of Parkland Talk
Parkland’s own Bob Mayersohn was the recipient of a prestigious award at the 10th Annual Community Care Plan Non-Profit Awards hosted by 211 Broward. More
Cost of Home Campaign Draws Attention to Crisis
A safe home. Nutritious food. Health care. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation. Which would you choose?
Habitat Broward has joined over 220 affiliates across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign to move affordable housing to the top of our local, state and national agendas. The Cost of Home campaign is aimed to improve home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years. We will be coordinating local efforts to ensure that hardworking families in Broward have a decent place to live.
One in six U.S. families is forced to make choices about rent VS food every day, often paying more than half of its income on rent or a mortgage. According to the Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment of 2018, in Broward County the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $1,902 per month with more than 30 percent of renters spending more than half their income on rent. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.
That’s why we’re committed to mobilizing our partners, volunteers and community members to find solutions and help create policies that will increase access to affordable housing for Broward County residents as part of a new campaign: Cost of Home.
To learn more about what you can do email Marcia Berry-Smith, Director of Program Services and Advocacy.
Habitat Broward champion and friend, Bob Leider, passed away on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, just days before he was planning to celebrate the historic home dedication he helped make happen. Bob was a tremendous force in our history—an eternal optimist—passionate about Habitat and eager to take on challenges and ambitious goals.
Bob joined our Board of Directors in 1996. He became its chair in 2001 and was re-elected to serve three consecutive terms. He was then appointed to the Development Committee which he ultimately chaired through June 2017. Bob served as Habitat Broward’s interim Executive Director from February through May of 2016 when the board needed time to search for new leadership. He dealt with everything from construction to fund development. During his tenure as Executive Director, he and his “side-kick” Nancy Daly secured $1.5 million for A Rick Case Habitat Community infrastructure, enabling us to move forward on the project.
Bob has been a faithful personal donor to Habitat for the last 20 years, as well as a volunteer on the job sites. He could be found trussing roofs, nailing fir strips and painting. Bob was always eager to roll his sleeves up and get the job done.
Bob attempted retirement a few years back, only to be recruited back to WSVN Channel 7 as the Executive VP and General Manager before finally retiring last year. Bob was part business manager, part relationship manager, part volunteer, and all humanitarian. We know he was immensely proud of the work being done at Habitat.
We will miss you, Bob. Words cannot express how grateful we are to you for your devotion to Habitat and to these wonderful families.
Check out Bob’s feature on WSVN here, and photos of our beloved friend.
Source: Sunburn – The morning read on what’s hot in Florida politics | Author: Peter Schorsch | Date published: June 27, 2019
— DATELINE: TALLY —
“DeSantis signs two bills that USF supporting veterans” via WFSU — At an event at the University of South Florida Office of Veteran Success, DeSantis signed a pair of bills that drew unanimous support from both the House and Senate during this year’s legislative session. House Bill 501 allows the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to contract with a state university or Florida College System institution to provide the following alternative treatment options: accelerated resolution therapy; equine therapy; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; music therapy; and service animal training therapy. The second bill, House Bill 471, designates an Honor and Remembrance flag for the state. The governor said the flag allows people to pay respects to fallen service members.
“Governor backs treatment options for veterans” via the News Service of Florida — A series of alternative treatment options could soon be available to U.S. military veterans with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder, under a law signed by DeSantis. The measure, which drew unanimous support from the House and Senate during this year’s Legislative Session, will allow the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs to contract with a state university or Florida College System institution to provide the following alternative treatment options: accelerated resolution therapy; equine therapy; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; music therapy; and service animal training therapy. DeSantis, who served in the Navy, said he’s long supported alternative-treatment concepts, such as training dogs to work with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“DeSantis OKs legislative crackdown on human trafficking” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics — DeSantis has signed legislation aiming to curb human trafficking in the state by increasing training of law enforcement and hospitality workers, as well as setting up a database of pimps and individuals who solicit prostitutes. “This law sends a powerful message to traffickers and pimps: The State of Florida is CLOSED for business,” said Sen. Lauren Book, who authored the Senate version of the legislation (SB 540). “When we curb the demand for the illegal sale and purchase of sex, we also curb the profitability of human trafficking — and take a stand against the enslavement of men, women and children in communities across our state.”
“Ron DeSantis approves statewide expansion of needle exchange program” via Florida Politics —DeSantis has signed into law a measure allowing statewide expansion of a Miami-Dade County needle exchange program. The legislation (SB 366), however, does not mandate the program be expanded. Each county will decide on its own whether to adopt a version of the program similar to the one adopted in Miami-Dade in 2016. Democratic state Sen. Oscar Braynon II filed the bill that was eventually approved by both chambers.
“Final bills from 2019 Session go to DeSantis” via the News Service of Florida — The last of the 194 bills approved by the House and Senate this year landed on DeSantis’ desk. While DeSantis has acted quickly on most bills, he has until July 11 to sign, veto or let each of the 21 measures DeSantis received become law without his signature. Among the final bills to reach the Governor were a proposal to require out-of-state health care providers to pay application and renewal fees to provide telehealth services (HB 7067) and a plan to restrict the formation and continuation of community redevelopment agencies (HB 9). As of Wednesday afternoon, DeSantis had signed 162 bills into law and vetoed two.
“DeSantis says Florida is working on a plan to remove pythons from the Everglades” via Karl Fortier of Fox 4 — DeSantis isn’t shy about how he feels about the invasive Burmese pythons that are decimating wildlife populations in the Glades. “I hate these pythons,” he said. “We’re spending all this money to revive the Everglades, and we’re just going to let these big pythons eat everything? We don’t want to do that.” Python hunters have had success finding and removing pythons by using radio trackers implanted on male pythons to lead the hunters to breeding females and other males.
Assignment editors — DeSantis will deliver remarks and dedicate the first seven of more than 70 Habitat for Humanity of Broward homes at the A Rick Case Habitat Community, 2 p.m., 1400 NW. 6th Ave., Pompano Beach.
The saying “busy as bees” comes to mind as Phase II in A Rick Case Habitat Community springs to life and families complete the journey to homeownership. The first seven homes will be ready for all families by the end of June! This means seven incredibly hard-working, committed families who meet their obligations of sweat equity, year-long homeownership classes and home down payments will soon become first-time homeowners.
The following are the seven Family Home Sponsors who have made this momentous occasion possible:
Family Home Sponsors
Burdette Beckmann, Inc
and the Robert Taylor Family
Rick Case Automotive Group
Robert L. Elmore Estate
WSVN Channel 7
House Foundation Sponsor
Bank of America
Josephine S. Leiser Foundation
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
The Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund of the
Community Foundation of Broward
City of Pompano Beach
Dear Sadowski Coalition and Sadowski Affiliates:
The Sadowski Coalition hand delivered our letter requesting a line-item veto of the $125 million sweep of housing trust funds to the Governor’s office on Friday, May 10.
Since that time, six newspapers have Editorialized- agreeing that the Governor should line item veto the sweep – Gainesville Sun, Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, St. Augustine Record, Tampa Bay Times, and TC Palm. In addition to these, we received a terrific Editorial from the Palm Beach Post.
The Governor will be receiving the budget shortly and will then decide what line items to veto before signing into law.
Now is the time to make a request to the Governor to line-item veto the sweep of the Housing Trust Funds to general revenue.
To be clear, we are NOT asking the Governor to sweep any monies going to the Panhandle/Hurricane Michael help.
Below is sample language you can use: Ron.DeSantis@eog.myflorida.com
Dear Governor DeSantis:
Thank you so much for your support of using all the Sadowski state and local housing trust funds to help Florida’s working families, as well as the elderly and persons with disabilities living on fixed incomes. I am writing to respectfully ask that you line item veto the Legislature’s sweep of Sadowski Trust funds.
A line item veto from you would:
- Send a message to the legislature that there is no point in sweeping the Sadowski trust funds to general revenue- as you will veto the sweep; and
- Leave those funds ($125 million) in the Sadowski trust funds for appropriation next year.
Governor DeSantis, you have distinguished yourself as a leader on this issue. We need you to put a stop to the tradition of sweeping the trust funds by using your line-item veto authority to help us out of the housing crisis in Florida.
For the past five years, the ReStore has been receiving consistent material donations from Resource 4 Floors. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale since 1980, Resource 4 Floors is a single source for sustainable floor covering for the corporate market. Procuring and installing environmentally friendly flooring is their business and with hospitals and universities as clients, they have become experts their field. The ReStore is incredibly grateful for the donations from Resource 4 Floors which help provide affordable housing to hard-working families in Broward County. If you are a contractor, architect or company in need of commercial flooring, please consider this great source for your next building project.