DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Affordable housing in our area has made a lot of news over the last year and according to the Delray Beach Housing Authority it’s gotten worse.
There’s actually “bidding wars” happening in the rental space. So where does this leave low-income tenants? And what options are available to people on the brink of homelessness?
Jonaia Orr is a single mom who has her family’s morning and nighttime routines down to a science.
“My two kids and I came to Florida for opportunity — I wanted a new start to raise my kids comfortably,” she said
She got the fresh start but just three weeks ago the Georgia native couldn’t wake up from South Florida’s housing crisis nightmare.
”It’s very competitive and if you don’t have a certain amount of money — you’re out,” Orr said. “I had to really persevere and it was very discouraging.”
The Delray Beach Housing Authority which provides housing up to 10 miles outside of city limits says more low-income families are simply being priced out.
”We have landlords bidding rentals,” said Shirley Erazo, Delray Beach Housing Authority president and CEO. ”The inventory of affordable housing is very limited throughout Palm Beach County. Families are struggling. We have to coach, support and speak on area family’s behalf to help find affordable housing.”
This year, money from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided more vouchers to house family’s in transition like Orr’s.
”Persons who were homeless, about to be homeless, victims of domestic violence and victims of sexual dating violence,” said Charmaine Jackson, Delray Beach Housing Authority executive assistant.
Jonaia like so many others finally had a roof over their head — but what about furniture?
”Those creature comforts that make a house a home,” said Sarah Alsofrom, GL Homes senior director of community relations. “From the box spring and the mattress, linen, towels, dishes, dining room table and chairs — it’s those essential items that people need that quite frankly others often over look and that’s where GL Homes is able to provide the Good Night's Sleep package to those who really need a leg up.”
GL Homes, which has over 40 years specializing in building new luxury homes, 55+ communities and family-oriented communities has partnered with the Housing Authority providing all the creature comforts saving low-income tenants money and time though the Good Night’s Sleep Initiative. The initiative began in 2015 but the need has increased amid the pandemic.
“We do hope to inspire other company’s to take on this initiative because there are so many families struggling these days to make ends meet,” Alsofrom said.
Leaving one more family well-rested and housed.
”It took a lot of stress away. One less thing I have to think about,” Orr said.
To learn more about GL Homes Good Night’s Sleep Initiative visit, here: https://www.glhomes.com/experience/making-a-difference/2015/11/good-nights-sleep-initiative/
Delray’s Housing Authority is looking for more landlords who are wiling to provide suitable housing to families that need them. To learn more visit, here: https://www.dbha.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Owners-Informational-Packet-1.pdf And here: https://www.dbha.org/