CORAL SPRINGS, FL – National data shows that many American cities, both large and small, are facing affordable housing shortages. And in wealthier cities, such as Coral Springs, the issue is even more serious.

Renters are the hardest hit.  

The National Low Income Housing Coalition determined in 2018 that a renter working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage can’t afford a typical two-bedroom apartment in any county in the nation.

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The median rent in Coral Springs (where the estimated median family income is $81,000) is $1,444 a month, according to census data and city reports. In Florida, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $992, according to the coalition.

So what can be done in Coral Springs to make housing more affordable for lower-income families?

TAPinto Coral Springs asked the candidates running in the Nov. 3 election to offer ideas.

Many said more effort needs to be made to help renters buy houses and start building equity. Others said the answer lies in creating special zoning and offering incentives for developers to build mixed-income housing, even though the city is running out of land to develop.  

Here is how the contenders for Seat #3 and Seat #5 races responded.

 

Joe Morera (Seat #3)

“This has been an ongoing topic of discussion. The City offers many amenities making it a desirable community to live in. This increased demand on housing drives up costs. As commissioner, I would continue to explore grant opportunities at state and federal levels that can be offered to qualified families to facilitate the American Dream of homeownership in Coral Springs.”

 

Andy Kasten (Seat #3)

“This is a conundrum as the open market dictates prices for housing. Citizens want their property values to rise consistently, thus this pushes out affordability for many. In addition to this, our city is for the most part built out, so it's not like we can build affordable housing as we don't have land for that. The State of Florida established the Sadowski Fund which is supposed to be money paid in and then redistributed to counties and municipalities to help fund affordable housing. Unfortunately, we have become a donor county as much of that money never returns to us. I would fight to get the money so that we could help folks purchase homes, fix homes, etc. that would otherwise not be able to afford.”

 

Abel Pena (Seat #3) 

“Ease tariffs and construction regulations, and subsidize rent.” 

 

Randal Cutter (Seat #3)

“As long as Coral Springs is a safe and attractive community, the laws of supply and demand will put pressure on housing costs. That is a fact of economics. One way to make housing more affordable is to increase the supply. I believe that if we allow for appropriate redevelopment, we can add multi-family or higher-density housing in appropriate outlying areas where such housing would not increase congestion—and obviously, such redevelopment would need appropriate studies to protect our city from the overdevelopment that impacts quality of life for the current residents. We should not sacrifice the quality of life of our current residents in an attempt to make housing more affordable.”

 

Nancy Metayer (Seat #3)

“Affordable housing is a vital economic resource. It creates jobs, increases consumer spending, attracts employers, and expands the local tax base. The data is clear: affordable housing development grows local income for the nurses, electricians, teachers, grocery clerks, and bus drivers who live in these homes. 

- Increase funding for mixed-income housing and public-private partnership incentives.

- Inclusionary zoning.

- Creating community land trusts.”

 

Noor Fawzy (Seat #3)

“Housing affordability means that residents do not pay interest on their mortgage loans. To that end, we can help facilitate partnerships with banks and other private entities that will agree to offer interest-free loan options that would allow for the resident to gradually purchase the home and in turn gradually transfer ownership of the home to the resident while they work to fully pay off the loan. This would not only make housing more affordable, but it would also encourage residents who do not yet own a home to become a homeowner. Homeownership is critical because it builds wealth and power.”

 

Coral Springs Vice Mayor Joy Carter (Seat #5)

“As a local Realtor, I understand how important a home is. The continued push for grants to assist in rental and mortgage assistance is being done and should continue. As well as the lobbying for CBDG (federal Community Development Block Grant) funds to help people with repairs so they can stay in their homes. Being built-out is a challenge on affordable housing, but I have a watchful eye towards gentrification.”

 

Cathy Remy (Seat #5)

“There are four major factors that influence housing affordability: supply of available houses, planning restrictions, lending market and government policy.  We can offer developers incentives to build affordable housing by easing restrictions and elimination bottlenecks in the planning and building application process. We can take the pressure off buyers by implementing a policy that encourages and rewards more housing options for those with lower income and budgets. Finally, we can make it easier for first-time homebuyers to enter the market by offering assistance via the first homeowner’s grant.”

 

Read previous articles in our series exploring where Coral Springs City Commission candidates stand on local issues:

What’s The Best Way To Respond to Mental Health Emergencies in Coral Springs? Contenders in City Elections Offer Thoughts.

What Can Coral Springs Do To Reduce Global Warming? A Lot, Said Candidates in Coral Springs Election

Is Coral Springs Doing Enough To Reduce Spread of COVID-19? Candidates in City Election Weigh In.

Allowing Protests. Creating Task Force. Has Coral Springs Done Enough To Address Police Brutality Debate?

Coral Springs Election Candidates Debate Ideas Related to “Defunding” Police

 

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