New strategy for affordable housing in West Palm

Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 31, 2016

West Palm Beach is one of the most difficult places to find an affordable places to live. Now the city is developing a new strategy to get you to move to the heart of the city.

Take a trip downtown these days and it's non-stop.

"Always some kind of contruction," says Gianni Lizano of West Palm Beach.

Lizano sees most of it as high-end apartments.

"You're going to pay at least $1500."

So Lizano and his family settled for a home outside downtown which is all too common for those who want to live in that area.

"Half an hour, 45 minutes, an hour away because they can't afford to live in the city," says city housing director Armando Fana.

Fana says Palm Beach County is one of the most difficult places to find an affordable place to live. So this week, the city approved a package of financial incentives for developers on fees that sometimes turn them away.

Utility connection fees would be waived and engineering costs would be lowered.

Fana says this would encourage developers to include workforce housing in their projects.

"Any incentives that we can do. If we can bring a few dozen units in the downtown area and other parts of West Palm Beach that are going to be affordable for families that are living here and working here. I think it makes a difference," says Fana.

City leaders say some developers are already showing interest as a result of this package of incentives.