Letters to the Editor

Praise for amending Affordable Housing Trust Fund

I have never been more proud than to attend the Oct. 6 Miami-Dade County Commission meeting where commissioners voted unanimously to amend the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, setting aside 50 percent of the funds to be used to meet the housing needs of very low- and extremely low-income individuals and families.

This trust fund was proposed by Commissioner Barbara Jordan in 2008 as a workforce housing initiative. Workforce housing continues to be a strong need in our community, however, the commission’s vote today recognized that balancing our housing priorities based on the various income level needs, is a significant policy shift that we applaud.

According to the Urban Institute, for every 100 extremely low-income renter households in Miami-Dade there are only 26 units affordable and available to them. Miami-Dade’s 75,000 extremely low-income renter households are spending more than half of their limited income on housing costs. They are just one step away from homelessness.

The Miami Coalition, People Acting for Community Together and the South Florida Community Development Coalition, among other organizations, have been advocating for this legislation, and the commission listened.

The Miami Coalition recognizes that the private sector also has a role to play in this important community issue. To that end, we are creating a philanthropic loan fund to be utilized to leverage the Affordable Housing Trust Fund resources to encourage developers to increase their commitment to affordable housing for all income levels included in this legislation.

On behalf of The Miami Coalition and our partners, we applaud the commission for bringing us one step closer to the vision of Miami becoming a world-class city that is affordable to all who live here.

Bobbie Ibarra, executive director, Miami Coalition for the Homeless, Miami