Gainesville inches closer to approving affordable housing plan

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The City of Gainesville plans to discuss affordable housing in its jurisdiction. But not just yet.

On Thursday, the city commission voted to hold a special meeting to discuss the affordable housing plan at a future date. The plan has been in development since 2018 and was finally submitted to the city commission on Oct. 21.

City Commissioner David Arreola said he is looking forward to discussing housing issues in the city.

“It’s not unique to Gainesville by any means, but there’s a significant problem,” he said. “It’s going to require taking on the hard challenge of how do we incentivize more housing.”

Arreola said he believes inclusionary zoning, a policy that requires developers to include low-income units in their buildings, could be the key to the city’s problems.

“If we had inclusionary zoning, we could mandate it for every single development,” he said. “No more cherry picking.”

More than 174,000 homes have been built across the country through this practice, according to the Florida Housing Coalition.

The city’s housing plan is made up of 13 strategies across three major categories: zoning changes, diversifying funding sources and creating subsidies that promote permanent affordability for city residents. These recommendations could be implemented within the next two years, according to a city memo from October.

At Thursday’s meeting, the city commission approved the Gainesville Affordable Housing Advisory Committee’s recommendation report.

About Jack Prator

Jack is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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