Habitat Broward’s A Rick Case Habitat Community and Bob Leider Featured on WSVN 7 News

Source: WSVN 7 News | Author: Brandon Beyer | Published: June 27, 2019

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Seven families are moving into new homes in Pompano Beach thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Broward County. The families received the new homes Thursday with 70 more homes on the way in the growing neighborhood.“It feels amazing. We have something to leave our children,” said Edna McKinney, whose family received a new home.

The neighborhood is the largest project ever for Habitat for Humanity of Broward. Habitat purchased the land a decade ago and broke ground in 2017. A neighborhood is now taking shape with much of the funding coming from local business leaders Rick and Rita Case of Rick Case Automotive Group as well as Channel 7’s owner, Ed Ansin.

“We are so excited today to see this come to handing out the first homes,” said Rita Case. For these families, the new homes are life-changing. “It’s just a blessing,” said McKinney.

But something was missing Thursday, or rather someone: longtime Channel 7 Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Leider, who passed away on Tuesday. “Bob was a regular at these events, and he was very involved with Habitat,” said Ansin. The Pompano Beach neighborhood was Leider’s vision. Where others saw an empty nine acres, he saw something special.

“What Bob’s vision was for this particular project is going to be used as a blue print around the world to study how families can come together,” said Rita Case. On many weekends, you’d find Leider here helping build Habitat homes, but those who knew him best said his favorite part was seeing the families move in.

“There’s nobody who would have loved to have been here today more than Bob Leider,” said Nancy Daly with Habitat for Humanity. Some might say Leider was there among the smiling faces, the happy hugs and the new homes he helped build. As the neighborhood continues to grow right down Leider Avenue, a part of him will always be there. “I know he’s smiling down on us right now and saying this is a blessed day for all of these families,” said Daly.
Many people said they wouldn’t be where they are today or gotten the project off the ground without Leider’s help.

The project is expected to be completed by 2020.


Habitat Broward’s A Rick Case Habitat Community Featured on CBS 12 News

Source: CBS 12 News | Author: Jay O’Brien | Date published: June 27, 2019

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is encouraging any candidate vying for Florida votes in 2020 to learn about the state’s diverse population and issues. When asked about potential advice for 2020 contenders at a media availability in Broward County, Thursday, DeSantis told CBS 12 News candidates should engage on the local issues that matter to Floridians.

“Obviously in Broward County some of the issues are a little bit different than Okaloosa County,” DeSantis said. “When people learn that and appreciate that and voters see and understand that, I do think it helps.”

DeSantis, a Republican and an ally of President Trump, has not spoken at length about the Democratic field. His comments were made in Pompano Beach, not far the Democratic candidates gearing up for night two of debates in Miami.

“People appreciate some of the things we’re doing with our water quality our everglades, our coastline protection,” DeSantis added. “All that I think will serve them well if they understand that.”

DeSantis’ comments were made at a Broward County Habitat for Humanity event, Thursday afternoon. The governor, along with community leaders, christened seven new homes in a community that will be the largest of its kind in Broward County when it is completed.

The complex, named the Rick Case Habitat for Humanity Community, will house 77 families when finished. Current residents of the seven finished homes told CBS 12 they were humbled by the event.

“It’s breathtaking,” said Krystal Brown, who is raising three children and will soon move into one of the finished homes. “I’ve been trying to do it [for] about two years now.”

In his remarks, the Governor praised new homeowner’s like Brown and welcomed them to the community.

“These are people that are working hard,” the governor said.

Habitat Broward’s A Rick Case Habitat Community Featured on Politico

Source: Politico | Author: Gary Fineout | Date published: June 27, 2019

— WHERE’S RON? — Gov. DeSantis will be in Pompano Beach where he will deliver remarks and dedicate the first seven of more than 70 Habitat for Humanity of Broward homes.

Click here to read the full article online.

Habitat Broward’s A Rick Case Habitat Community Featured on Capital Soup

Source: Capital Soup | Date Published: June 26, 2019

Governor Ron 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 on Thursday, June 27th, 2019. This is the largest Habitat for Humanity community ever built in Broward County, a 9-acre, 77-home site in Pompano Beach.

All credentialed media are welcome to attend.

Event Details:

WHAT: Remarks

WHO: Governor Ron DeSantis

WHEN: Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at 2:00 PM
Media Arrival Time: 1:30 PM

WHERE: A Rick Case Habitat Community
1400 Northwest 6th Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Habitat Broward’s CEO Nancy Robin Featured on South Florida Business Journal

Source: South Florida Business Journal | Author: Brian Bandell | Date Published: June 14, 2019

Investors looking for a rehab or flip in South Florida have found fertile ground in low-income neighborhoods.

Recent data from Florida Realtors shows median sale prices for single-family homes in low-income areas have surged double-digits in 2018 – to the mid-$200,000s. Thirteen of the Top 25 ZIP codes for percentage growth in median home sale values last year were in low-income neighborhoods with large minority populations.

“People’s buying power isn’t as strong as it used to be with interest rate hikes,” Keyes Co. Realtor Ron Alishah said. “Take west Coral Springs, where the median sale price is $350,000. Other areas, like Lauderhill, have a lower price point, which is driving people with lower [loan] pre-approval amounts to those areas.”

The pricing jump in areas like Miami’s Liberty City and Little Haiti, and Fort Lauderdale’s Progresso Village generate healthy returns for investors. Alishah said the new buyers often have higher incomes than the existing population, so they generate more consumer spending in these areas. But experts fear residents and small businesses could be forced out as the communities become increasingly unaffordable.

Nearly half of South Florida’s workforce is in the tourism, hospitality, retail, and food industries, which pay a median annual wage of $26,532. So, low-income, minority neighborhoods typically serve as affordable havens for service workers to live.

Economic development experts also say that the lack of affordable housing for workers is often a chief stumbling block to luring companies to the region.

“Wage structures dictate that housing be available across the entire spectrum, especially on the lower end,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “It certainly represents a challenge for individuals in lower-income jobs.”

Finney said the redevelopment of neighborhoods in economic distress is generally a good thing because properties are rehabilitated and the community becomes more attractive for business investment.

Home renovations and higher prices also impact renters. According to a review of multiple listing service (MLS) data by Ana Bozovic of Analytics Miami, rent for single-family homes in neighborhoods such as Fort Lauderdale’s Roosevelt Gardens, and Miami’s Allapattah, Wynwood and West Little River jumped over 60% since 2010.

“That is an indication of investors chasing yield and bidding up these properties,” Bozovic said. “The returns on the properties are fantastic compared to just about anywhere else in the area.”

Investor hot spots

Liberty City is a strong neighborhood for home investment because it has solid housing stock, willing sellers and attainable prices, said Fabiola Fleuranvil, CEO of Blueprint Creative Group.

Fleuranvil is a co-investor in the Miami Millennial Investment Firm, a group of young black professionals buying and rehabbing houses, while teaching about the benefits of homeownership and available grants.

“The Liberty Square area gets a bad rap, but there are pockets that are good areas and nice places to live,” she said. “A lot of foreign investors are acquiring property in Liberty City.”

Several years ago, her group bought houses priced below $100,000 in Liberty City, renovated them, and sold them for the high $100,000s, often while linking buyers with financial assistance programs, she said.

Vincent Viscomi, VP and Miami-Dade County area lending manager for Bank of America, said the advantage for homebuyers in lower-income neighborhoods is that many of those deals qualify for financial aid.

Once borrowers are pre-approved for specific loan amounts, they flock to these neighborhoods because there are many homes in their price range, he added. It also helps that areas such as Allapattah and Opa-locka are on higher ground, so flood and windstorm insurance rates are usually less costly, Viscomi said.

Now that home values in Liberty City are increasing – surpassing $200,000 in some cases – it’s more challenging to justify the cost of renovations and still sell for a nice gain, Fleuranvil said. Little Haiti has seen major value increases, but it varies by home, she said.

“On the same street in Little Haiti, for every $80,000 house there’s a $500,000 house on the market,” she said. “The existing houses are being rehabbed.”

Renovations have a big impact on an area’s median sale price, said William Hardin, director of the Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute at Florida International University. The least-expensive homes, especially those in foreclosure, are the easiest for investors to acquire and rehabilitate. When they are resold, they’re often among the neighborhood’s most expensive homes because they’ve been modernized, which brings the median sale price up dramatically, he said.

Claudienne Hibbert, a broker with Keyes in Miami Gardens, said middle-class families are moving to the area because it’s near Florida’s Turnpike and there is more retail and restaurant development with national brands. Educated homebuyers see the progress and feel comfortable living there, she said.

In Palm Beach County, lower-income neighborhoods in Riviera Beach and Lake Park posted some of the highest median sale price increases – over 12% in 2018.

Keyes broker Chip Armstrong said the county’s median home price of about $350,000 is out of reach for many buyers, so they find houses in Riviera Beach and Lake Park in the $200,000s, and usually end up with larger homes a short drive from the beach. The area has a reputation for crime, but that is improving, he added.

Lake Park recently rezoned much of its downtown to allow mixed-use buildings and more density, and attracted several breweries, Armstrong said.

“Lake Park has done a lot to bring younger millennial folks there to take over housing product,” he said.

Emerging neighborhoods

Many of the neighborhoods with soaring home values have major commercial developments planned. While it’s not always clear whether the projects helped trigger housing price hikes, both phenomena are transforming the areas.

Wynwood has over 500 apartments and three office buildings under construction. The Magic City Innovation District could bring homes, offices, retail and entertainment to Little Haiti. Miami Beach developer Robert S. Wennett secured approval for a Bjarke Ingels-designed mixed-use project in Allapattah. A major Amazon.com distribution center opened in Opa-locka. Downtown Lake Worth has two apartment buildings in the pipeline.

When people hear about a proposal like Magic City, that drives home prices up because the neighborhood could be enhanced, Alishah said.

Fleuranvil has witnessed changes in the type of businesses in Little Haiti, with more catering to new residents.

“Little Haiti has been an immigrant community where Haitians came in and worked their way up,” she said. “But, it could be a hub for the next wave of immigrants. These are not the same type of people, economically or socially.”

Gentrification and displacement

The pace of housing-price increases, especially in lower-income neighborhoods, is not sustainable, said Ned Murray, associate director of the Metropolitan Center at Florida International University. Most residents in these neighborhoods are renters, so they are vulnerable to displacement, he said.

“It will not just impact housing affordability; it will impact the economy,” Murray said. “We won’t maintain workers or attract workers. South Florida won’t become livable for the average worker and the average family.”

As members of the middle-class move in and values rise, many renters in historically black neighborhoods will be displaced, Hibbert said. There aren’t many places left in South Florida with low rents, she added.

Gentrification of older neighborhoods has positive and negative aspects, said Nancy L. Robin, CEO and executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Broward County. Neighborhoods in Wilton Manors and Oakland Park have become more attractive as people renovate and flip homes. On Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk Boulevard, many formerly vacant lots now have upscale homes under construction, she added.

The rising cost of land forces Habitat to be more creative when acquiring property to develop affordable and workforce housing, Robin said. It’s working with cities to donate land and companies to subsidize acquisition costs.

“Affordability has becoming a crisis throughout South Florida, and it’s happening at a much faster rate than any of us had imagined,” Murray said. “If we don’t do something about it soon, we might lose the opportunity to develop and preserve affordable housing in many of these neighborhoods and communities.”

Habitat Broward’s Cost of Home Campaign Featured on CNW Network

Source: CNW Network | Date Published: June 13, 2019

Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet.

Affordability problems

According to the Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment of 2018, in Broward County 58 percent of renters are cost-burdened, and 87 percent of households cannot afford the median sales price of $350,000. 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 and 54 percent of workers are in lower-range service sector jobs.

The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

On Wednesday, Habitat Broward joined Habitat organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years.

Cost of Home campaign

Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.

Habitat Broward already has taken several steps toward these goals. Habitat Broward addresses the critical need for housing by bringing every community sector together to build and renovate 20 to 25 homes per year alongside people in need of decent, affordable housing. To date, Habitat Broward and its community partners have empowered over 400 hardworking families to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership.

“At Habitat Broward, we know that a family should never have to spend more than 30 percent of their income on a home. But consider that today nearly 19 million U.S. households pay half or more of their income on a place to live, this is unacceptable, that is why we have joined forces with other Habitats nationwide to do something about this,” said Marcia Barry-Smith, Director of Community Outreach and Advocacy for Habitat Broward as she addressed the Broward County Commissioners on Tuesday, June 11 to share some startling facts regarding affordable housing and homelessness.

Habitat Broward’s Mother and Daughter Day Women Build Featured on WSVN

Source: WSVN 7 News | Author: Alex Browning | Published: April 27, 2019

More than 100 volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Broward County

lent a helping hand in Pompano Beach to help turn several South Floridians’ dreams of owning a home into a reality.

Click here to read the full article.

Habitat Broward’s Rick Case Community Featured on WSVN 7 News

Source: WSVN 7 News | Published: April 16, 2019

Habitat for Humanity of Broward broke ground to build a community in Pompano Beach.

The nonprofit started their biggest build in the county on Tuesday morning.

Click here to read the full article.

Preserve Sadowski Fund Op-Ed Featured on Sun Sentinel

Source: Sun Sentinel | Author: Nancy Robin, Habitat Broward CEO | Published: April 1, 2019

Our Broward representatives in Tallahassee are united in their resolve to preserve

Florida’s affordable housing trust fund, the Sadowski Fund, which has been raided by lawmakers since 2002 for other purposes.

Click here to read the full article.

Habitat Broward’s Collegiate Challenge Featured on 7 News WSVN

Source: WSVN 7 News | Author: Katrina Bush | Published: March 13, 2019

Dozens of college students will return to campus with a rewarding spring break experience

thanks to Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge.

Click here to read the full article.