Builders Must Step Up

Link to Palm Beach Post article


Shared from the 2017-10-29 Palm Beach Post eEdition


Builders must step up, create housing that is affordable


Last week, Minto Communities presented a plan to entice middle-class homebuyers with down payment grants of 3 percent of the purchase price at its massive new Westlake development in western county.

For years, judging by the attitudes and actions of builders and developers, you’d think there was no workforce housing crisis in Palm Beach County. That the county’s median single-family home price of $335,000 is not out of reach of 75 percent of its households. And that it’s of no real consequence to them.

Those builder attitudes and actions may be changing — albeit slowly — for the better.

County officials have long recognized this problem. So have a growing number of municipalities. They’ve offered initiatives and incentives to make more of our housing stock affordable to white-collar professionals such as teachers, assistant public defenders, nurses and store managers. Employers and business development leaders have also fretted about recruiting and retaining talent, knowing there are other desirable markets with more affordable housing like Fort Myers, The Villages, Orlando and Tampa.

Missing has been recognition by the county’s builders and developers that they also have skin in this game. And sans that recognition, the workforce housing crisis is destined to get worse.   READ MORE…