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Miami-Dade Inclusionary Housing Task Force Issues Report
The following are the recommendations of the Miami-Dade County Inclusionary Housing
Task Force. The Task Force's mission was to craft a "inclusionary housing"
policy proposal for Miami-Dade County. It is not clear when the County Commission
will up this matter. This is probably the most important housing policy issue in
recent history that Miami Dade has considered.
Miami-Dade County Proposed Moderately
Priced Housing Program
There is a large need for low- and moderate-income housing in Miami-Dade County.
A great portion of this can be termed "work force" housing; specifically
This type of housing is currently not well distributed throughout the County and
this program would help to improve that situation.
The private building industry is best equipped by virtue of experience and capability
of providing moderately priced housing .
Well structured programs featuring both requirements and incentives have shown to
be effective in helping to overcome these problems; therefore, the Board of County
Commissioners intend to establish a Moderately Priced Housing Program (MPHP).
This type of program, which results in mixed income neighborhoods has been shown
to have other positive social and economic effects.
As part of the Housing, Community and Economic Development portion of the Consolidated
Planning Process policies, the Board of County Commissioners has placed emphasis
on mixed income affordable housing projects and their dispersal throughout the County
rather than concentrations in certain areas.
This program in Miami-Dade County applies to all new residential developments above
a density of 5 units/acre and containing twenty (20) or more units. .
The program should be applied initially to the unincorporated area., Appropriate
efforts should be made to bring the existing incorporated areas into the program
as soon as possible.
The exact number of affordable units required and density bonus granted will be
determined by the location of the development, type of housing units proposed, and
site plan considerations and will vary from 6 percent to 24 percent affordable units
and 10 percent to 50 percent density bonus.
Unless a zoning district boundary change or other zoning request involving a change
of use is required, a development with affordable units included under the provisions
of this program will be administratively approved.
For administrative approval, utilizing development incentives, the proposed development
would have to be in compliance with the zoning and site plan criteria for the zoning
district in which the subject property is located. In this instance, review of the
administrative decision shall be appealed to the Board of County Commissioners.
If the proposed development requires approval of any district boundary change, variance,
special exception, unusual use, new use requiring public hearing or modification
or deletion of provision of a covenant or deed restriction accepted or approved
at public hearing, then any such request involving a change of use of the subject
property, including such zoning relief as shall be necessary to satisfy the criteria
of the moderately priced housing program, as well as the underlying development
proposal, shall be approved by the Board of County Commissioners in a direct application.
Specific amendments to the zoning procedures code will be required to effectuate
this. Subsequent review shall be in the circuit court. Zoning relief that does not
involve a change of use of the subject property may be reviewed and approved administratively
subject to review on appeal by the Board of County Commissioners. Again, specific
amendment to existing zoning procedures to effectuate this provision would be required.
The land use element of the comprehensive development master plan (CDMP) must be
amended to establish a floor density tied to a certain percentage (to be defined
later) to the maximum allowed in the zoning district or CDMP category for development
proceeding under the moderately priced housing program.
The program's intent is to provide affordable owner or rental housing to households
with incomes up to 95 percent of the countywide median family income (MFI).
Due to cost constraints on providing an adequate housing unit, the effective income
floor is 50-60 percent of MFI. Below this, direct subsidies are required.
The County Manager will establish detailed standards of eligibility for the Program
within administrative rules, subject to Board of County Commissioners approval.
Development under the moderately priced housing program would be eligible for impact
fee exemptions for affordable housing under existing impact fee programs.
Certain exemptions from this program and alternative ways of complying with its
provisions will be established by the County Manager subject to Board of County
Commissioners approval. However, in so doing, the Manager will be guided by the
foremost objective of the Program which is to provide more moderately priced housing
which is also more dispersed throughout the County.
If a buyout option is provided for, accumulated funds must be used for housing for
low income households in the infill area or other targeted location.
The County and designated not-for-profit affordable housing developers will be eligible
to purchase some of the units constructed under terms and conditions designed to
reach low and very low income households.
In order to effectively implement and operate this Program, the County Manager,
assisted by selected County department heads, will develop and issue administrative
rules and procedures covering such topics as resale and subleasing of units, project
phasing, site plan requirements, design guidelines, recording of covenants, waiver
of requirements, unit specifications, selection process for applicants, identification
and responsibilities of the administering departments, and any other matters pertinent
to proper functioning of the Program subject to Board of County Commissioners' approval
Commentary: South Florida Community Development Coalition
While there are real positive aspects of the proposal, there remains a number
of potential weaknesses that threaten to undermine the stated goals of: 1) creating
new units of affordable housing and 2) creating a new distributional framework where
affordable units are produced in areas that have little or no affordable housing.
The areas of concern are (from the Coalition and other parties who've given input):
The County Manager, or a designated administrative agency/representative, needs
to be empowered to establish the prices/rents of the set aside affordable units.
Clear guidelines on affordability targets need to be in place that are not ambiguous
nor left to the discretion of the developer.
The second to last bullet point designates that "some of the units constructed
under terms and conditions (for the inclusionary housing program)..." are eligible
for purchase by nonprofits or the County, so to reach the low/very low income population.
This needs clarification into what percent will be eligible.
The program needs to apply not only to new developments, but redevelopment and
rehabilitation projects. As Miami-Dade runs out of available land for new development
(i.e.. greenfields); all development will eventually turn towards redevelopment
and rehab. Here the policy will act as a tool for the preservation of affordable
housing (think South Beach as an example of this).
Finally, for the program to be a true success, it needs to make every possible
effort to apply to ALL of Miami-Dade County, including incorporated cities. For
this just to be limited to unincorporated Miami-Dade severely curtails its effectiveness.
Miami-Dade County Commissioners have the power to apply this zoning/land-use policy
countywide, but rarely have used that power.