City hosts community meetings on affordable housing

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 5:24 PM EST
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

February 10, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The City of Tallahassee is hosting four community meetings on the subject of low-income and workforce housing.

The meetings are open to all residents; the City wants your ideas to address housing needs. Your input could affect federal funding.

The City also has two online surveys, including questions about fair housing and community needs. Tallahassee will use input from the meetings and surveys in its five-year strategic plan.

"We will then submit that to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of our annual grant funding for housing in the community," said Commissioner Curtis Richardson.

The City is looking for input from residents about housing, where it's needed, where redevelopment is needed and how money from the federal government should be spent.

"Housing is becoming so unaffordable throughout the state and nation," said Commissioner Richardson. "We're looking at those areas in particular where those incomes are lower, and individuals are unable to afford the housing in those areas."

The City's Community Services Department is also looking into geo-mapping the homeless population.

"Where they lie, where they come from, what other characteristics and demographics do they have?" said TEMPO founder and Director of the Department of Community Services Dr. Kimball Thomas.

By learning more about that group, the City can help them with what they actually need.

"We'll be working with Big Bend COC, the Kearney Center, we'll be looking at what certain housing situations are there for them, what's available to them," said Dr. Thomas. "We'll be looking at those things before we have a concrete plan on how to move forward."

Another focus of the City Commission is home ownership.

"We're hoping to make that American dream of home ownership available to those who desire it. Regardless of what that is, multi-family or single-family residences," said Commissioner Richardson.

WCTV spoke with the President of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors about the current market.

"Stuff under $130,000 is kind of hard," said Nicholas Mihalich.

Tallahassee currently has a smaller supply of cheaper homes.

"One of the problems that we do have is that the stuff that is below $130K is not always desirable to everybody. So we have some stock there but it's not moving as fast as the stuff between $180K and $250K," said Mihalich.

Mihalich said it's not an unusual trend in the past couple of years. He thinks the City could help.

"I think they're on the right path with talking to the community and trying to get as many viewpoints as possible," he said.

You can participate in the surveys

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