Google Ads help pay the expense of maintaining this site
Click Here for the Neighborhood Transformation Website
May 24, 2006 - Miami Herald
Fair Use Disclaimer
Neighborhood Transformation is a nonprofit,
noncommercial website that, at times, may contain copyrighted material
that have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. It makes such material available in its efforts to advance the
understanding of poverty and low income distressed neighborhoods in
hopes of helping to find solutions for those problems. It believes that
this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as
provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Persons wishing to
use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of their own that
go beyond 'fair use' must first obtain permission from the copyright
City is buying lots of lots
Hallandale Beach is stepping up its affordable-housing program, trying to acquire more property now as prices climb.
By Diana Moskovitz
Hallandale Beach is joining the South Florida hunt for property, but for a slightly different reason than most.
For several years the city has been buying lots for an
affordable-housing program. It stepped up the effort in late 2005 and
has bought about 12 lots this year, community redevelopment coordinator
Angela Bauldree said.
Hallandale Beach already owns a string of small lots along Foster Road.
All are in the city's northwest section, which has pockets of blight and has seen less development than the rest of the city.
City leaders said they decided to step up their buying in reaction to
climbing real estate prices, wanting to get what they could while
pockets of the city were still affordable.
''We know that land is scarce,'' City Commissioner Joe Gibbons said.
The city plans to resell most of the lots -- at cost -- to low- and
middle-income families. For example, a family of four could qualify if
it earns no more than $72,000 a year.
The family also could get a special loan of up to $40,000 to help buy
or build a home. The loan would not have to be repaid if the family
stays at least 10 years.
Buying land is just one of the tactics local leaders are trying out as
home prices climb faster than wages, said Jim Murley, director of the
center for urban and environmental studies at Florida Atlantic
And the push for leaders to do something has grown stronger as business
leaders realized high housing prices made recruiting workers harder, he
''Almost all of the urban cities and counties in Florida are
experimenting with every possible tool they can get their hands on to
attain affordable workforce housing,'' Murley said.
Murley said having local governments buy the land themselves is important because this keeps the homes affordable longer.
Murley said cities can use deed restrictions to ensure that properties remain in the ``pool of affordable housing.''
Hallandale Beach hopes to do this with penalties it builds into deeds with home buyers.
The penalties are based on how much time an owner spends in the home.
The sooner someone tries to sell, the more they have to pay back unless
they live in the home for at least 10 years.
The city also has a small window, about 15 days, to decide if it wants
to buy back the home at market price. If Hallandale Beach passes, the
home can be sold on the open market -- but the city gets part of the
The goal is to keep people from quickly flipping the homes for a profit, which had happened in the past, Mayor Joy Cooper said.
All the lots this year were bought on the open market, Bauldree said.
In past years, the city has acquired lots when Broward County officials
took them from owners who hadn't paid their property taxes in three
years, Bauldree said. The county then turned over those lots to the
The city also has one case where it hopes to create housing instead of just helping locate and buy homes.
A townhome project is planned for a strip of lots the city bought along
Foster Road, Bauldree said. The Foster Road lots were too small, 25
feet by 75 feet, to build individual houses.
The city already has struck agreements with developers of two projects
requiring them to build lower-priced housing outside their plans in
return for city approval.