New study highlights renting challenges in Palm Beach and Martin counties

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dan Porten just moved to West Palm Beach with his girlfriend last fall, with hopes of living downtown, near the water.

"We were quickly finding that anything in our price range, comfortable price range, was 20-25 minutes out," Porten said.

Forcing him out of downtown.

"We had to settle for a 1-1 which is disappointing for two people."

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin counties just released a study echoing his frustration.

"We've got an extreme affordability gap and also a very limited supply and if the counties in both areas are going to continue to grow, we need to do something about building multi-family rental housing," Leslie Lilly, President and CEO of The Community Foundation, said.

The report shows median monthly rent in Palm Beach County is $1,103. $887 in Martin County.

The report says 90-percent of renters make less than $35,000 a year. And just about all of them spend more than the suggested 30-percent a month on rent.

"A lot of people think that the foreclosure created a lot of properties and vacancies and much more affordability, and actually quite to the contrary," Lilly said.

On its partner website yourpbc.org The Community Foundation wants the community's input to help fix the problem.

For the next eight weeks it's driving the conversation about rent and presenting your concerns to policy makers.

"A lot of people don't have problems with housing and those are a lot of the people making the decisions rather than the people who are in the trenches," Marlene Passell with yourpbc.org said.

"I'd be curious as to what the power of the forum could potentially be," Porten said.

But for now, Dan is settling for a spot to live inland, with little hope of moving closer to the water.

Click here for a look at the executive summary and full report about renting.
 

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