Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs Hosts Third Regional Affordable Housing Workshop with partners from Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties and the City of Orlando to Explore Regulatory and Financial Strategies to Grow Affordable Housing Supply in the Region
Orange County Government with regional partners from Seminole and Osceola counties and the City of Orlando convened for the third and final Regional Affordable Housing Workshop on April 11, 2018 at the Winter Park Community Center.
The event was the capstone in a series of workshops initiated by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ Affordable Housing Initiative, which started with the Regional Affordable Housing Summit in October 2016. In the years following the Summit, Orange County Government and regional partners have hosted subsequent workshops that explored affordable housing solutions for the Central Florida region, including identifying sustainable areas for development and housing designed and product types.
“It is so important to remember that the lack of affordable housing affects our entire nation,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Communities large and small are searching for solutions. But here in Central Florida, thanks to our innovative outlook and our commitment to regional collaboration, we are poised to do what others cannot by creating systematic change.”
The third workshop built upon the discussions from prior sessions, focusing on regulatory strategies and identifying the financial and economic impact of affordable housing in the region. Bringing together all aspects of the conversation, the workshop also featured a panel discussion of residential developers who spoke about financial issues and the challenges they face on affordable housing projects.
During the event, organizers presented the Regional Affordable Housing Framework, a five-step outline of strategies and resources for addressing housing needs and opportunities in Central Florida.
“The centerfold of the conversation for this workshop is collaboration,” Orange County Planning Division Manager Alberto Vargas said during the event. “During previous workshops we addressed areas where affordable housing should be incentivized for development and what type of housing product types would contribute towards the development of communities. We are here to better understand the how; how do we begin to implement goals and strategies with the diverse tools to create sustainable, complete and affordable solutions?”
Vargas also discussed Orange County’s strategy approach to create more affordable homes, including expediting the permitting processes, impact fee deferrals and subsidies for single-family and rental properties, cultivating strategic private, nonprofit and public partnerships with development organizations and housing authorities as well as local housing initiatives including down payment assistance program and property rehabilitation.
As part of Mayor Jacobs’ Regional Affordable Housing Initiative, from 2016 to 2017 Orange County has invested $6.7 million in new affordable housing construction – 366 multi-family unit and 56 single-family units – and also invested more than $4.6 million in housing rehabilitation programs across the County.
A regional approach is imperative to exploring affordable housing solutions in Central Florida. From private sector developers, to government planners, the finance and banking industries, academia and the social services sector, the tri-county area is committed to a collaborative affordable housing approach. To learn more or to view the presentations, visit www.ocfl.net/AffordableHousing.