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

Opinion: A renaissance on the right

What’s bad for the gavel is good for the pen. The Republican Party is in the midst of a cataclysmic transformation. But all the political turmoil is creating a burst of intellectual creativity on the right. Young, fresh writers are bursting on the scene: Sohrab Ahmari, Helen Andrews, Charles Cooke, Mollie Hemingway, Jason Willick, Michael Brendan...
POINT OF VIEW: Cutting Medicaid eligibility hurts Medicare, too

Florida lawmakers cut $98 million from the Medicaid program for “non-pregnant” adults who need retroactive Medicaid. This translates to a cut primarily targeting seniors and persons with disabilities. Medicaid cuts in general put the most vulnerable Floridians at risk of losing much-needed coverage. In this instance, the cut exposes previously...
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon Thursday, April 26
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon Thursday, April 26

CARTOON VIEW DANA SUMMERS
Letters: Municipalities should leave gun control to the state, feds

Leave gun control to the state, feds Time for the petty city council boards to accept that gun control is not part of their agenda. State law limits their powers very specifically, so learn to deal with it and get on with life. Enough waffling around when a group wants to control assault or assault-style rifles, simply because their book club decided...
Opinion: Macron on Trumpism — Non!

WASHINGTON — The early story line about President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron focused on their “bromance” and Trump’s puerile claim to dominance when he brushed what he said was dandruff off Macron’s suit. But on the last day of his state visit on Wednesday, Macron showed he will not be trifled with. He...
More Stories