City of Tallahassee wins statewide award for affordable housing programs


Florida Construction News staff writer

The City of Tallahassee is the recipient of 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, a variety of programs have been created to rehabilitate existing housing inventory and encourage construction of new affordable housing units.

The city’s programs and partnership opportunities also incentivize developers to bring housing projects across the affordability spectrum to Tallahassee and help stretch public dollars, creating a more sustainable, long-term affordable housing environment.

“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,” Mayor John Dailey said.

Impact was 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 leveraged with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding preserved more than $5.2 million in housing stock for low-income homeowners.

“The City implements several best practices, including construction funding for nonprofits and permanent affordability in partnership with the community land trust,” said Ashon J. Nesbitt, chief executive officer for the Florida Housing Coalition. “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.

“Leveraging federal, state and local funding along with private investment is critical to our community’s ability to increase affordable housing stock,” Dr. Kimball Thomas, the city’s director of Housing and Community Resilience, said in a statement. “With the city’s strategic focus and holistic approach, more affordable housing units are being added and preserved locally as housing challenges are felt across the country.”

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