Affordable Housing: A Growing Crisis in Seminole County
Did you know...in most parts of Seminole County, the cost of rent for a 2-bedroom apartment exceeds the monthly payment on a $500,000 mortgage? Yikes! Look around your community and you might find new high rise apartment developments going up in every direction. With homelessness, rent, and home values on the rise, it's time to tackle a growing crisis in Seminole County: affordable housing.
Some County Commissioners proudly position themselves as strong voices for the multifamily rental housing industry, but I am taking a different stance. My voice strongly advocates for the new families and first-time homebuyers who currently have no access to homeownership, thanks to an increasingly limited inventory of housing, and competition with out of state cash buyers. There are over 3,000 new apartment units underway in Seminole County, with another 5,000 units planned for development in 2023. Developers have no incentive to create affordable housing within these developments, yet our Commission continues to imply that we are tackling the affordable housing crisis by increasing supply of apartment rentals.
Seminole County desperately needs new leadership with new ideas to tackle this issue, before we become an overdeveloped, urbanized community filled with unaffordable rental housing. We need to diversify housing options and encourage development of single-family, townhome, and other varieties that are accessible to families and first-time buyers. This can also be achieved in partnership with financial institutions and private funding sources that offer mortgage programs to serve the new generation of homebuyers with flexible down payment options. In conclusion, homeownership is the leading way for American families to accumulate wealth and we cannot leave this element out of the affordable housing discussion.