SARASOTA, FL – Over the past 12 months, Sarasota has experienced an affordable housing crisis, with the median rent reaching more than $2,000 monthly. With rent averages now higher than in other nearby locations like Miami-Dade, city officials have started looking at opportunities to offer affordable options to low-income residents.
One recent success in the battle for affordable housing came in the form of a City Commissioner’s vote for a zoning change allowing the construction of a new 250-unit apartment building. The community will sit on the 6-acre lot that once housed a former hospital and provide the city with new low-cost housing.
Jon Thaxton, a Gulf Coast Community Foundation member, sees the apartment complex as a great opportunity for the area. He had the following to say about the news:
“The site is clearly contemplated for a use other than single-family housing, and the site is an ideal location for affordable housing.”
The location of the new apartment building was one of the main reasons the city agreed to greenlight the project. According to city staff, the geographical positioning of the complex will put it close to essential services such as:
- Daycares and preschools
- Health clubs
- Public elementary and high schools
- Medical and dental offices
- Religious providers
In addition to the nearby amenities, the area is full of employment opportunities for future residents who wish to walk to work instead of driving.
To meet the guidelines for affordable housing, residents must earn below 120% of the county median household income. Rental agreements for the low-incoming units will also require a minimum agreement of six months.
While adding a new affordable apartment building won’t completely solve the current housing crisis in the area, it’s a step in the right direction to help the residents of Sarasota.