Miami approves $7M in bond money for affordable housing

$100M of Miami Forever Bond is earmarked for affordable housing
By Katherine Kallergis | June 28, 2019 12:30PM

Mayor Francis Suarez

Mayor Francis Suarez

The Miami City Commission approved the use of bond money to fund five affordable and workforce housing projects in the city.

The commission gave the green light on Thursday to use $7.15 million of the initial $58.7 million portion of the Miami Forever Bond. Voters approved the $400 million bond in November 2017 to fund sea level rise and flood prevention, public roadway improvements and park upgrades. In all, $100 million of the bond proceeds will be set aside for affordable housing.

Developers are expected to invest roughly $180 million in the five projects, which include the third phase of Liberty Square, the Related Group’s redevelopment of the Liberty City complex. In all, the projects total more than 500 units. The city reviewed 29 applications for the funding after issuing a request for proposals in February.

The $7.15 million will also fund these developments in Little Havana, Coconut Grove and Allapattah:

  • MJ LH 337 NW 11 Ave, led by Juan de la Puerta and Michael Esser, at 337 Northwest 11th Avenue in Little Havana.
  • Platform 3750 LLC, tied to the Hollywood-based Cornerstone Group, at 3750 South Dixie Highway in Coconut Grove. Initial plans called for an eight- and five-story building with 192 workforce and market-rate apartments, 20,200 square feet of retail space, and 30,070 square feet of office space.
  • Related’s The Gallery at River Parc LLC. Previously submitted plans called for a 150-unit building at 750 Northwest 13th Avenue and a 168-unit building at 800 Northwest 13th Avenue in Little Havana.
  • Vineyard Villas LLC in Allapattah.

The city recently passed an ordinance that new developments in the Arts & Entertainment District north of downtown Miami that are seeking density and floor lot ratio bonuses must include workforce or affordable housing.

Miami is among the country’s most expensive housing markets. According to a report released this week by RentHop, Miami ranked No. 2 as the priciest city to own a home in the U.S. The average home price is $510,000 with estimated monthly mortgage and taxes totaling nearly $2,500 a month, RentHop found.

Miami-Dade County also has big plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into affordable housing over the next 10 years, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told Bloomberg.