Post-Hurricane Affordable Housing in the Florida Keys
Emily Nonko reports on the efforts of the Florida Keys Community Land Trust to build affordable housing in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The area was already struggling with housing for low- and moderate-income residents before the hurricane, and the problem intensified after Irma destroyed a quarter of Florida Keys homes in 2017.
Nonko reports that the community land trust was founded by Maggie Whitcomb, a part-time resident of the Keys, who provided initial funding to get the project off the ground:
The trust and Monroe County also came to a unique agreement to get the project started after Whitcomb purchased the land under the trust. In Spring 2018, county commissioners approved the trust’s request for the county to purchase the trust’s first four lots at $99,999 each, in order to put nearly $400,000 toward construction of cottages.
The trust will complete four cottages this fall, with plans to finish five more by early next year. In addition to the affordable rental rates, the homes were designed for the long term. They are raised 12 feet off the ground and can withstand Category 5 hurricane winds.