City of Tallahassee earns statewide Affordable Housing Award


Florida Construction News staff writer

The City of Tallahassee has received the Florida Housing Coalition 2023 State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Award for its rehabilitation and new construction programs.

With affordable housing prioritized in its five-year Strategic Plan, the city created programs to rehabilitate and enhance existing housing inventory and encourage construction of new affordable housing units.

Programs and partnership opportunities are also designed to incentivize developers to build housing projects and “help stretch public dollars, creating a more sustainable, long-term affordable housing environment.”

“In the last fiscal year, more than 13,000 citizens were served by city housing programs. Through effective policymaking and implementing proven programs, the city is a leader in our community’s affordable housing efforts. I’m proud to see these efforts recognized as best practices in our state,” said Mayor John Dailey.

The impact of programs can be measured through the dollar amount of affordable units preserved through repair, rehabilitation or reconstruction. In Fiscal Year 2022, the SHIP investment of more than $500,000 was leveraged with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding to preserve more than $5.2 million in housing stock.“The Florida Housing Coalition recognizes the City of Tallahassee as a leader amongst its peers in the state, demonstrating effectiveness in leveraging local, state and federal resources in innovative ways to achieve maximum impact,” said Ashon J. Nesbitt, chief executive officer for the Florida Housing Coalition. “The city implements several best practices, including construction funding for nonprofits and permanent affordability in partnership with the community land trust. In the past three years, the city has increased its affordable housing pipeline to serve more than the past 25 years combined.

“This is a testament to the high level of expertise, professionalism and creativity of City staff and the City Commission’s active commitment to affordable housing.”

Programs are paired with new construction, including short-term construction loans for small developers, infill construction on City-owned parcels and new construction through the Community Land Trust and Community Housing Development organizations. The new homes built with support from these programs are affordable for those earning 80 percent or less Area Median Income.

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