MoneyReal Estate News


Multi-tenant housing development voted down in Delray Beach

City commissioners voted 4 to 1 against project
Delray Beach City Hall
Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 01:57:31-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A proposed multi-tenant housing development in Delray Beach won't be constructed.

City commissioners voted 4 to 1 against the project.

Investors were hoping to build affordable units where people would rent out a room but share a bathroom and kitchen with other tenants.

"Supporting this project, it would allow so many people to have a home at an affordable cost," supporter Mayrene Watson, who was born and raised in Delray Beach, said. "There's so many people that go to work every day and come home ... they don't have a place to come home to."

Commissioners were unsure about the project, citing safety concerns.

However, investors said it would not have been an issue.

Kurt Jetta expresses his disappointment after Delray Beach commissioners voted down the housing proposal on Jan. 4, 2024.
Kurt Jetta expresses his disappointment after Delray Beach commissioners voted down the housing proposal.

"There's vetting of landlords. There's vetting of property managers. There's vetting of tenants," Kurt Jetta, the president of Jetta Investment Company, said. "All of that was incorporated in this proposal but that had zero traction and the fact that that had zero traction obviously from what they said is disappointing."

Commissioner Adam Frankel was opposed to the project after speaking with the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.

"Because of the current rooming house that's located in the city next to a church, it's my understanding that there are many issues at that church because of residents of this building," Frankel said.

WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked Jetta about those claims.

"I talked to the minister. He will not agree with that," Jetta said. "They thought it was from our building. It was homeless in the area. They were parking there. They were having cookouts. That was not ours. I confirmed that with them that was bad information."

People like Sandra Amani and Niki Mercedes bought a property near the area and said they support affordable housing but believe the company's current building lacks security.

"There's a lack of a lot right now on a building that's already managed by the company that's proposing more of them in this area," Amani said. "If I don't see one well run, I'm not encouraged that the rest will be well run."

They said there aren't any cameras in the current property, which Jetta confirmed, but stated there have been no incidents.

"I was waiting for the outcome of this issue before making a major investment," Jetta said. "There have been no incidents of crime even in the surrounding area, and there have been no neighborhood complaints about any nuisance."

Commissioner Angela Burns was the only commissioner in favor.

"Delray says we want to address the affordable housing issue, however matching income to rent is not addressing that, and we have a set of people in this community that make less than $35,000," Burns said. "That's unbelievable and this would address those people."

Jetta said he plans to take his plans to neighboring cities that may benefit from the resource.

"It's not scrapped. This is too good of an idea to scrap," Jetta said. "Delray Beach has the highest percentage of non-family households in the county, so that makes it more beneficial for this kind of housing cause it's for single individuals."

Delray Beach commissioners said they agree that something needs to be done to help with the housing crisis.

They're planning a special meeting to discuss other affordable housing options.