Finding affordable housing downtown

Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 18:16:21-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla---- Affordable housing can be tough to find in Palm Beach County, but local developers are looking for a fix with "Micro Apartments."

Downtown West Palm Beach seems to be the place to be and Chris Schwenk knows it. The only problem is rent can be too high. He says it took him several months to find something he could afford. Everything was well over a thousand dollars a month.

"I've seen even higher. I've seen even 15, 16 depending on how close you are to the water."

Schwenk isn't alone. Millennials are looking to rent not just in Downtown West Palm Beach, but Delray Beach and Lake Worth. Real Estate studies show from 2006 to 2014, the number of renters went up nearly eight percent in West Palm Beach so median rent prices went up with it.

Rick Gonzalez at REG Architects says tiny homes, half the size and much cheaper than an average apartment are the solution. Developer Jeff Greene is proposing a 12 story "micro apartment" building at Rosemary and Banyan. Each unit roughly $1,000 to $1,200.

Gonzalez has something similar in the works.

"I think it's coming. Projects that are being proposed to do that. I'm working on a small rehab of a historic building on the North end of town."

He says those proposed apartments would be 400 to 500 square feet and the rent would be between $700-800 a month.