CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Over the years, Coral Springs has looked for ways to add more affordable housing for the growing working-class population.

On Wednesday, city officials are planning to consider options to add affordable apartments or townhouses along Riverside Drive.

City commissioners are scheduled to discuss in a workshop the possibility of seeking appraising on two sets of vacant, city-owned properties just north of Sample Road and putting out requests to build on them, according to a proposal to be presented to commissioners.

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The properties are valued at about $459,000, and the city is now spending $5,400 annually to mow and trim the empty lots.

Building more affordable housing has long been in demand in Coral Springs, which has seen an influx of working-class residents over the past three decades.

The issue has often come up in this year’s two races for City Commission in the Nov. 3 election. Read here the ideas candidates in the races are offering.

The city purchased the properties in 1995 for $135,500 after Riverside Drive was widened, the proposal said. The goal was to use the land to resolve parking issues in the area, but there were relatively no problems.

Years later, in 2006, the properties were envisioned as potential affordable housing sites when an Affordable Housing Ordinance was adopted, according to the proposal.

If the properties are developed, the proposal calls for constructing 14 apartment units or 12 townhouse units.

Commissioner Joshua Simmons, a high school teacher, said, as housing prices have jumped up over the years, working professionals such as teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, and others have been priced out of many neighborhoods.

“Obviously our city can't solve our nation's affordable housing crisis,” Simmons said. “But I want the people of Coral Springs to see that we are doing our best to provide affordable housing opportunities so people of various income levels can afford to live and raise their family in Coral Springs.”

 

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