AHF Tackles Housing Crisis

Norm Kent

The Fort Lauderdale branch of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation hosted a press conference on Tuesday where they announced bold plans to address the low income housing crisis in the city.

Partnering with the Healthy Housing Foundation, the agencies on Tuesday addressed the affordable housing crisis impacting Broward County.

Specifically, the group announced plans to break ground on a residential campus for low-income residents in Ft. Lauderdale.

With numerous local community leaders present, The agencies set out its vision for an innovative housing complex for that will provide answers for low-income individuals and families in Broward County.

“Too many suffer,” AHF president Michael Weinstein said, “we are going to try to provide solutions.”

Kathleen Cannon, chair of the United Way, praised AHF. “It’s a very generous gesture. They are willing to underwrite a very good cause on their own.”

Added the legislative affairs director of AHF, Ebonni Bryant, “we think this undertaking represents a legitimate attempt to deal with one third of the housing crisis in Broward County.”

Michael Kahane, the Southern Bureau Chief of AHF, elaborated : “This will truly shift the trajectory for many of those in need. It is a collaborative and innovative approach that will be an example and set the frame-work for other communities across the U.S. to take on leadership around this issue.”

Low cost housing is a hot topic in the LGBT community. When word got out about a possible low cost housing project coming to the Pride Center in Wilton Manors, it led to intense community debate. But on Tuesday, agency representatives were all enthused about the AHF initiative.

The Healthy Housing Foundation Ft. Lauderdale low-income and affordable housing residential development campus is the fourth affordable housing residential development launched this year by the Healthy Housing Foundation, a new program of AHF to specifically address housing needs. It is targeted to assist low-income and chronically ill individuals, along with families, focusing on sustainable rental-to-ownership models.

According to AHF, current statistics indicate that 789,000 Floridians spend more than half of their income on rent each month.

Through the development of local collaborations and innovative approaches to combating the affordable housing epidemic plaguing communities across the nation, the Healthy Housing Foundation hopes to demonstrate that citizens who are at extremely low income levels can be helped or placed into clean and safe housing without lengthy delays presently fostered by customary affordable’ housing’ measures.

It is not AHF’s first foray into this arena in South Florida. In 2011, the agency undertook efforts to preserve ADAP-based housing in Miami. Globally, it has been working to address the housing needs of the chronically ill for 30 years. A program to the Lauderdale project was also recently launched in Los Angeles as well.