Delray Beach Recognized For Workforce Housing Project

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Staff report

The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency has been recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association for outstanding redevelopment achievements in the Creative Partnership Category.

The FRA presents awards annually to projects that exhibit best practices in Florida redevelopment over the past year.

This year, the Delray Beach CRA, City of Delray Beach, and Delray Beach Community Land Trust were honored for the Courtyards on 12th Workforce Housing Project.

Last year, marked the completion of Courtyards on 12th Project, a workforce housing project consisting of six duplexes (12 units), contributing to the variety of affordable housing stock within the city, while building the capacity of its non-profit housing partner, the Delray Beach Community Land Trust (DBCLT), through a ground lease/management agreement. The partnership implemented the CRA’s goals of redevelopment without displacement and prevention of gentrification.

What sets this project apart from other affordable housing initiatives is the CRA’s comprehensive approach to the redevelopment of this corridor. In 2012, the CRA together with the city and Palm Beach County jointly funded the beautification of SW 12th Avenue, two other streets, and adjacent alleyways to eliminate blighted conditions.

A factor contributing to the blighted appearance of the corridor was the preponderance of parking spaces backing-out onto the corridor. The project consisted of relocation of the parking spaces to the rear of the structures, alley improvements, installation of sidewalks and on-street parallel parking, and upgraded landscaping to replace front yard parking. The next step was to acquire and renovate the first five duplexes in 2013 and the decision to partner with a qualified non-profit entity specializing in affordable housing for property management instead of procuring the services of a for-profit management company.

Renovations included extensive interior and exterior improvements and site upgrades such as lighting, landscaping, trellises, and courtyards. In order to accommodate the demand for high quality affordable rental housing in Delray Beach, the duplexes have been rented to low/moderate income eligible families and are managed by the DBCLT through a ground lease/management agreement.