Making Affordable Housing Really Affordable

Florida has to make low income housing available to people who are not technically considered to be low income.

That was the message for a legislative task force on affordable housing that met Wednesday in the state Capitol.

Alachua County Commissioner Rodney Long, speaking on behalf of the Florida Association of Counties, told lawmakers the affordable housing gap is getting wider.

It’s not just low income people any more who have trouble finding a home without breaking the bank

Long said, “Historically, money made available from the state and local housing trust funds have been used successfully in meeting the housing needs of our low income residents. But now the need has grown even greater and it’s affecting those who, by definition, are not considered low income but are essential to the backbone of our communities.

Long says one of the biggest challenges is finding affordable homes for newly-hired police, firefighters, teachers and nurses.

Housing prices have skyrocketed in recent years, rising much faster than wages or salaries. For example, between 2002 and 2005, the cost of a home went up by 77 percent while family income increased by less than two percent.