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Proposed project hopes to bring more affordable housing to Delray Beach

42 units would be for very low-income residents
Posted at 11:48 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 08:32:43-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Finding affordable housing continues to be an issue throughout South Florida.

Now, organizations in Delray Beach are hoping to build homes for lower-income families.

"Having affordable housing would really help a lot of the families here," said Amura Powell a Delray Beach native. "There's families that have four families under one roof because there's literally no place else without paying an arm and a leg."

Powell recently moved back from college, but after nearly two months of searching, he still hasn't found a place to live in Delray Beach.

"Making a bunch of calls, getting outrageous numbers and I'm not comfortable paying that much for a closet," said Powell.

Powell works at a children's center in Delray Beach but lives in West Palm Beach.

He said a lot of his childhood friends have moved away because of the cost.

"If I could find housing here, I would be closer to some of the students," said Powell. "I would probably see some of the students in passing a little more often, making it more of an actual community."

That's why there's a proposal to create an affordable housing complex called Island Cove, a two-story, 60-unit apartment community.

It would be north along Southwest 10th Street, east of Interstate 95 just south of the Village Square apartments.

"We have a huge need for affordable housing," said Jakeleen Fernandez, vice president for the Delray Housing Group. "Please don't close the doors on us because you're closing your doors on your residents. A lot of those are already homeless sleeping in their cars."

Developers and members of the Delray Beach Housing Authority met Wednesday with city leaders, who said the houses would prioritize theirs over the 1,000-person waiting list.

Forty-two units would be for very low-income residents. Preference would go to "hometown heroes," such as teachers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers and nurses within Delray Beach city limits.

"We don't want to push our families out of Delray," said Shirley Erazo, president and CEO of the Delray Beach Housing Authority. "We want to bring them back to Delray and we need them to live in affordable housing."

City leaders motioned to postpone a decision to their next meeting, giving developers a chance to adjust some final details on the project.

Among the issues is room for more parking.