AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS A CHALLENGE IN WALTON COUNTY AND PARTICULARLY IN SOUTH WALTON. RECENT DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS PROPOSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AT THE “MODERATE” LEVEL WHICH MANY BELIEVE TRANSLATE TO HIGHER RENTS AND SALES PRICES THAT MOST PEOPLE WE ARE TRYING TO HELP, CAN’T AFFORD. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION?
We all agree we need affordable housing, but let’s define affordable housing. Currently, we’re all being dictated what is affordable. I think we need to understand what the people want, not just what’s currently being offered. Also, there is a new initiative to launch a Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to help Floridians in over 50 critical professions purchase their first homes. On June 1st, 2022, Governor DeSantis announced this program to be available for Floridians including law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans. This is definitely a step in the right direction. Maybe it’s time for a workshop to ask the people what would work for them?
I think we most definitely have an affordable housing problem in Walton County, and I am very pleased that our developers have all of sudden taken a keen interest in helping out the little guy, HOWEVER, I want to make sure we do this correctly. There is no point in having an “Affordable Housing” program that results in Housing that’s NOT AFFORDABLE to the working class family in Walton County.
Housing is a major concern and one of my top priorities. I believe incentivizing developers to produce obtainable housing that matches the aesthetic of the surrounding community is one of many initiatives we need to take to address the issue. Another is investing in adequate water and sewer lines throughout the county which will open up opportunities for attainable housing developments and reduce pressure on the market. Adequate obtainable housing will have a compounding effect on reducing the burden of traffic on our saturated roads if we can place the workforce in closer proximity to their place of employment.
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