POINT OF VIEW: Fixing old homes would boost workforce housing


In response to The Palm Beach Post’s Jan. 25 editorial — “County must find solution to workforce housing bind” — I believe there are other approaches which must be utilized in order to solve the county’s workforce housing issue.

It appears that our public officials and policymakers are focusing their attention only on new construction, which can raise many unforeseen issues — including zoning considerations. New construction must be part of the solution, however, there are other approaches to address this important issue.

The Northwood neighborhood of West Palm Beach, my home for nearly 30 years, is saturated with affordable housing-in-the-making. Unfortunately, in Northwood’s case, the reality is such that due to the lack of leadership from the city to reinvest in these types of neighborhoods, the housing stock is in severe need of rehabilitation. With many houses in the $50,000 to $150,000 price range, the homes are more than affordable.

The issue is that the cost of renovating these properties to current codes becomes prohibitive to many interested families.

It would be advantageous to our local jurisdictions to add a new set of tools in the workforce housing tool box which include opportunities for grants and loans, as well as closer coordination with community development corporations, other nonprofit organizations and the banking industry to aid in the cost of rehabilitation.

Focusing on existing homes takes advantage of existing infrastructure, which is a more environmentally sustainable approach that can help to not only solve the workforce housing issue but help restore these neighborhoods.

The end result would expand the city’s — at least in West Palm Beach’s case — and county’s tax base. and reduce the need for excessive code and police enforcement.

ROBERT BEAULIEU, WEST PALM BEACH



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

POINT OF VIEW: Why I’m suing Trump over DACA

As secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, a little more than five years ago I signed the directive that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump ended DACA on not much more than a whim. On Sept. 8, in my capacity as president of the University of California, I filed a lawsuit in federal...
Letters: Kudos to Avossa on call to close schools

I have to take this opportunity and shout out kudos to Robert Avossa, our Palm Beach County Schools superintendent. I have worked for the school district for over 30 years. Avossa got it right. He has the students as his priority, and the teachers and staff members not far behind. He gave the teachers and families plenty of time to evacuate or get...
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon: Sept. 19
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon: Sept. 19

CARTOON VIEW WALT HANDELSMAN
Letters Deaths in nursing home without generator a national disgrace
Letters Deaths in nursing home without generator a national disgrace

Nursing home deaths a national disgrace It is a national disgrace that nursing homes in Florida are allowed to operate without a source of generators. The fact that 150 nursing homes in Florida lack generators tell me more about the moral guilt of Florida legislators who have allowed this to happen due to either benign neglect or lobbyist monies which...
Opinion: Do conservatives take rape seriously?

Have conservatives forsaken rape victims? That’s one of the more challenging questions posed following the furor over Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ announcement that her department will revise the Obama-era guidance on how sexual assault allegations are to be handled by universities. Because we live in an age of rage, the move sparked...
More Stories