The Gainesville For All housing team made recommendations aimed at improving the quality, quantity and availability of affordable housing in Alachua County.

Develop a Community Land Trust affordable housing home ownership program: A Community Land Trust is a nonprofit corporation that builds affordable single-family homes, town homes and condominiums on land that it owns. It sells the houses to buyers who quality for affordable housing, but the nonprofit keeps the land the houses are on.

The houses are sold below market and the buyers agree to occupy and not rent them. When they sell them, the sales price must equal the purchase price plus inflation. This system produces affordable housing ownership opportunities for low-income buyers and it keeps the houses affordable for all future buyers.

Lobby for full allocation of the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund for affordable housing development use: The Sadowski Housing Trust Fund was established in 1992 to fund affordable housing projects and programs in Florida. For each of the past 10 years, Florida lawmakers “raided” the fund to balance the budget or to fund other programs; $200 million was taken last year and $175 million the year before. The GNV4ALL recommendation is to lobby for and support legislation to block the use of the Sadowski fund for any purpose that is not affordable housing related.

Develop a supportive housing micro-house community for the homeless: Provide supportive housing for the 400 un-sheltered homeless in Alachua County by developing and operating a housing project that is specifically designed to be an affordable supportive micro-housing project for chronically homeless people. Supportive homeless micro-housing projects are springing up in other cities and have proven to be very effective at helping chronic homeless recover from their disabilities. Leading examples include the Celebrate Outreach project in St. Petersburg, The Dwellings in Tallahassee and the Community First Village in Austin, Texas.

Create a rental deposit surety bond program for rental down payments: Many people living in poverty are unable to move into an apartment because they don’t have the funds for the deposits. A deposit surety bond program should be developed that pays the deposits for new renters who agree to participate in the maintenance and move-out cleaning of housing used by other renters in the program. They would receive a program surety bond for their move-in and, in-turn, they would receive help from other renters in the program with the cleaning and repairs of their apartments when they move out.

Art Stockwell is chair of the GNV4ALL housing and transportation team.