Daytona Beach Holds Affordable Housing Workshop

Daytona Beach Holds Affordable Housing Workshop

Like many communities across the nation, Daytona Beach is facing an affordable housing crisis. To address the issue, the City Commission recently held a workshop to review what constitutes affordable housing, and ways the city can encourage the creation of affordable housing stock.

City Development Director Ken Thomas kicked off the meeting with a review of how the situation developed.

“Housing is at the forefront of public policy,” he said, adding that housing rental prices have risen twice as quickly since the Covid-19 pandemic as they did before.

“Unlike single-family construction, there was no boom (in the early 2000s) in multifamily construction to accommodate the demand, so we had a lack of supply for multifamily housing.”

One of the possible solutions discussed at the workshop was the use of linkage fees, a payment made by developers as a condition of approving development projects to help promote affordable housing.

City Attorney Ben Gross said in order for the city to impose linkage fees, it would have to meet the same judicial test required for the imposition of impact fees.

“Your biggest leverage is probably through the provision of density bonuses,” he said, that would allow for the construction of more housing units on a site.

In addition to linkage fees, staff recommendations to foster the development of more affordable housing opportunities in the city include creating a five-year plan to increase affordable and workforce housing, encouraging faith-based organizations to contribute to affordable housing, establishing a general fund category to be administered by the Housing Trust Fund, paying impact fees – road, sewer and water, etc. – for affordable housing units, creating an affordable housing co-op to purchase building materials, acquiring vacant lots for single and multifamily home development, and providing access to capital for small local development firms.

City Commission approval would be required to implement any of the recommendations, Morris said.

“The discussion tonight isn’t to do anything but consider ideas,” Morris said. “This evening is meant to be a broad overview. We have many more things we can present to you.”