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Affordable housing for residents with mental illnesses coming to West Palm Beach

Posted at 4:44 PM, Mar 14, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In an effort to address affordable housing options in West Palm Beach, the city has built or is in the process of building more than 500 affordable housing units over the last five years.

But city leaders say that’s not enough.

On Thursday morning, Mayor Jeri Muoio joined Carrfour Supportive Housing, Florida’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer, along with other leaders for the groundbreaking on Dr. Alice Moore Apartments.

The $17.5 million project is the first affordable housing project to serve residents facing residential instability, as well as living with severe and persistent mental illness.

"Drug addicted or alcohol addicted or have mental illness, and it’s always such a challenge to find a bed for them or find a place for them to live," said Muoio.

The site, located in the Northwood Shores area, will provide 36 tenants with on-site service coordination and support in conjunction with the Jerome Golden Center for Behavioral Health.

"Really whatever that person needs to remain successfully housed," said Stephanie Eisenberg, President and CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing. "So if they need help with their benefits, if they need mental health services, if they need help in their recovery, the job of the service coordinator is to access those services in the community."

But according to Keith James, who hopes to become West Palm Beach's next mayor, the city needs to double the number of affordable housing options and broaden the reach.

"Affordable housing is an issue," said James. "I want our school teachers to be able to live in our city. I want our city workers to be able to afford to live in our city. Service workers who provide services and many of our businesses I want them to be able to afford to live in our city."

Carrfour Supportive Housing and city leaders hope to welcome new tenants in approximately 12 months.