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Affordable housing on the rise in West Palm Beach

City close to reaching goal of providing new affordable housing options
Posted at 11:06 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 09:04:27-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In one swift vote, the city of West Palm Beach has just taken possession of three plots of land to build affordable housing. 

"That's a huge issue here, especially when the wages and incomes are not keeping up with the price of housing," Jennifer Ferriol, the director of housing and community development for the city, said. "So, it's definitely something we've been trying to address." 

Ferriol said land near 10th Avenue and Henrietta Avenue is the latest project looking to increase affordable housing within West Palm Beach.

It's all part of a bigger plan that's been in the works for some time.

Jennifer Ferriol discusses affordable housing plan in West Palm Beach, April 18, 2022
Jennifer Ferriol, the director of housing and community development for West Palm Beach, speaks to WPTV about the city's plan to create more affordable housing.

"In January 2020, Mayor (Keith) James launched the 303 initiative," she said. "So, that initiative, in essence, was he wanted to have either developed or under construction 300 affordable or workforce housing. Within a year, we reached that goal."

As the need for housing has grown, so too has the number of units the city is looking to deliver. Right now, the goal is 603 new units of affordable housing.

"As of today, we're about a little bit over 90% of our way, and I think we're going to exceed that goal," she said. 

Plot of land being considered for affordable housing in West Palm Beach, April 2022
This is one of several plots of land being designated for affordable housing in West Palm Beach.

While navigating, the fast-growing rental and housing markets remain difficult.

People are relieved that work is being done.

"Definitely, I agree with it," Lord Len said. "Why can't everyone have a place to stay?"

The three plots of land could result in four new single-family homes as the city moves closer to its target number.