share   tweet 311
Next Council Meeting
February 25, 2022
10AM, WebEx
Newsletter
Join to get the BHC Newsletter
WELCOME

​​​​​Broward Housing Council (BHC)

​Since 2009, the Broward Housing Council has served in an advisory capacity to the County Commission and facilitated coordination between the County, municipalities, the business community, and not-for-profit groups.  The BHC addresses housing issues including, but not limited to:  affordable housing, workforce housing, and homelessness.  

Created by the Charter of Broward County (Section 11.07) in November 2008, the BHC has between 17-19 members representing various cities, not-for-profit housing and homelessness organizations, service providers and  community representatives.  Commissioner Lamar P. Fisher, District 4, serves on the BHC as the County Commission representative.  

The BHC makes policy recommendations to the County Commission regarding affordable housing countywide.  Their 2020 adopted Work Program addresses seven (7) key areas:  Facilitate Coordination, Increase Affordable Housing Stock, Enhance Housing Stability, Advocate for Legislative Change, Streamline Process, Address Homelessness, and Support Countywide Financing. 

The public is encouraged to attend the BHC bimonthly meetings, tentatively held on the last Friday of every other month, from 10 AM -12 PM, at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.​



NOTICE​

Affordable Housing Dashboard now LIVE

​A countywide Affordable Housing Dashboard is now available, launched Monday, December 13, 2021.  The Dashboard is an initiative of the Broward Housing Council (BHC), who adopted it in their 2021 Work Program.  This is a collaborative effort of GIS, Demographic and Planning staff of the Urban Planning Division (UPD).  

The dashboard can be reached through the link above, the first listing on the top blue menu bar, Affordable Housing Dashboard.  This is an evolving resource, and will be continually updated for current and relevant information.


​BHC Workshop, October 21, 2021

All Workshop briefings, in PDF format, have been posted on our meeting dates calendar.  Summary minutes of the workshop will be available after the November 19 special meeting and the recorded video will be available soon.


​FY 2021 Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD, July 20, 2021, Funding Opportunities

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research is making available grant funds to non-profit or governmental entities to provide services in areas with high rates of evictions or prospective evictions, including rural areas. 

Read more...​​


Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) enhancements

The County is implementing a series of program enhancements to accelerate the processing of applications received by the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and get faster financial assistance to tenants and landlords who have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19.

The following improvements will be made:

  • The processing of applications, previously outsourced, will be handled by Broward County's Human Services Department, Family Success Division. A "strike team" of knowledgeable and experienced staff has been assembled to lead this effort.

  • The Information Hotline, also previously outsourced, will now be handled by Broward County's Call Center and will be open Monday through Friday, from 8:30AM to 5PM. Additional call center specialists have been added to assist with questions. The new phone number is 954-831-ERAP (3727). The old phone number will remain in service with a message directing callers to the new number.

  • The online application portal, powered by Neighborly, has not changed. However, going forward, the portal will periodically open and close to facilitate the timely processing of applications received. The first closure of the portal will be at 11:59PM on Sunday, November 7, to allow County staff time to process all previously submitted applications. The portal will reopen on Sunday, November 21. Funds are still available to help residents who have experienced financial hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. To check on the status of portal openings and closings, visit Rent Assistance​.

  • Even when the portal is closed to new applications, previous applicants who are already working with a case manager will be permitted to upload missing or supplemental documents to the portal as requested, to keep their application moving through the approval process.

  • The number of intake centers offering in-person assistance with applications and documentation has increased from two to four. Assistance is available at each of the County's Family Success Centers, located in Coral Springs, Hollywood/West Park, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. Appointments and facial coverings are required.

Several thousand partially completed applications are in the portal, and tenants and/or landlords must complete and submit them before 11:59PM Sunday, November 7 to be considered in this round of approvals. Unfinished applications in the system will still be available to residents when the portal reopens on November 21.

"Broward County is committed to the fast and efficient processing of this emergency assistance funding, which can help so many of our residents and landlords who have experienced financial hardship and difficulty paying rent or utilities during COVID-19," said Natalie Beasley, Assistant Director of Family Success. "These enhancements are going to help ensure these dollars get out into the community where they can help those who need it the most, including those who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability due to the pandemic."


Emergency Rental Assistance

UPDATE: December 1, 2021 - Application Portal​ Now Accepting Applications​

​Apply Online or Schedule In-person Appointment

Residents behind on their rent and utility balances due to a COVID-19 financial hardship are encouraged to submit an application for Emergency Rental Assistance before the end of the national eviction ban. Four customer service centers offer in-person assistance if necessary or desired – an appointment is required.

Broward County has received $53 million in federal funding for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which for eligible residents provides 100 percent of past due rent and utility payments as far back as March 2020.

- APPLY NOW:  Appointment lines are open for in-person applications

Call first for an appointment:  800-204-0557
  • a live agent will review all required documentation to complete process
  • appointment will be set for specific intake location
MUST FOLLOW COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
  • Wear a mask that covers nose and mouth
  • Maintain social distance
  • Arrive at the designated time​
In-Person Application Intake Locations:
  • Northwest Family Success Center
    10077 NW 29th Street
    Coral Springs, 33065​
  • North Family Success Center
    2011 NW 3rd Avenue
    Pompano, 33060
  • South Regional Family Success Center
    4733 SW 18th Street
    Hollywood, 33023
  • Central Family Success Center
    900 NW 31st Avenue, Suite 3000
    Fort Lauderdale, 33311

​​​- Register/Apply ONLINE​

Questions/more information: 1-888-692-7203
- for non- COVID-19 related assistance, contact a Family Success Center

Rent Assistance Information​ | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)​


Report​

Homeownership, racial segregation, and policy solutions to racial wealth equity

Brookings Institution, September 1, 2021, by Rashawn Ray, Andre M. Perry, David Harshbarger, Samantha Elizondo, and Alexandra Gibbons

Homeownership is often viewed as the entree to the American dream and the gateway to intergenerational wealth. However, this pathway is often less achievable for Black Americans who post a homeownership rate of 46.4% compared to 75.8% of white families. Compounding matters, homes in predominately Black neighborhoods across the country are valued at $48,000 less than predominately white neighborhoods for a cumulative loss in equity of approximately $156 billion. These are significant contributing factors to the racial wealth gap.

In 2016, white families posted the highest median family wealth at $171,000. Black families, in contrast, had a median family wealth of $17,600. Because wealth (as measured by the total amount of assets a person owns minus debts) is a critical predictor of education, health, employment, and other quality of life metrics, a strategy to maximize homeownership and home value is needed.

Lower Black homeownership and the racial wealth gap are byproducts of systemic racism, including the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, redlining, and other anti-Black policies that targeted Black people and predominately Black neighborhoods. Residential segregation facilitates the extraction of wealth and other vital resources that fuel economic and social mobility. The loss of wealth in Black communities hastens a downward socioeconomic spiral. For instance, schools predominated by Black, Latinx, and Asian students receive $23 billion less in funding than predominately white districts. This is because schools primarily rely on local property taxes rather than a broader pool of funding to equalize school resources.

Furthermore, education as a solution to closing the wealth gap is inherently flawed. White college graduates have seven times more wealth than Black college graduates. This racial wealth gap reveals how little a strategy singularly focused on increasing college degree attainment will have on reducing the racial wealth gap.

Additionally, subpar neighborhood resources lead to fewer banking options, more payday lenders, and less opportunity for financial literacy. Because most people start their businesses using the equity in their homes, Black business development is throttled by Black families’ lack of homeownership and lack of wealth overall.

Full report includes methodology, findings, figures for key cities across the United States, policy recommendations, and acknowledgements.


Current News​

S. Florida needs more housing. Exactly how much vacant land is left?

South Florida Sun Sentinel, January 24, 2022, Amber Randall

Very little vacant land is left for building homes in South Florida, but just how scarce are the options? As the region struggles with a housing shortage, the amount of vacant land zoned for residences is down to less than 1% in parts of the region.

There are only about 20 square miles, or less than 1%, of land that remains vacant and zoned for residential use. For perspective, Palm Beach County is 2,383 square miles. On top of that, those 20 square miles are fractured into hundreds of lots all over the place. It’s even worse in Broward County. Of the county’s 1,323 square miles, only 5 square miles, or less than 1%, remain vacant and zoned for residential use.

South Florida is in the midst of a real estate boom fueled in part by record low inventory and an influx of new residents. One of the most important factors in the housing shortage, however, is the scarcity of land on which to build. Developers are having a hard time finding vacant land zoned for residential commercial use, as each county is braced by the ocean on one side and the Everglades on the other.

Full article...


​Relief or ‘poor tax’? Companies offer an alternative to apartment security deposits for Florida re​​nters.

Orlando Sentinel, January 20, 2022, Skyler Swisher

As rents skyrocket, startup companies are touting what they consider to be a helpful solution to hefty security deposits pricing Floridians out of apartments. Instead of forking over an upfront security deposit, tenants can agree to pay a monthly fee — typically about $25. 

But there’s a catch: The money isn’t refundable at the end of the lease like a traditional security deposit, and renters are still on the hook for damage beyond ordinary wear and tear. State lawmakers are considering legislation that would create regulations for such agreements that offer security deposit insurance instead of a traditional lump-sum deposit.

But advocates for Florida tenants have concerns. They say the proposed regulations lack important safeguards to protect renters from predatory practices.​

Full article...​


Spotlight


A New Home

Keenila Spiller, left, greets Anna Jaime, of Continental Development Holding, and Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich at a ribbon-cutting for Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale. Continental Development Holding, a newly launched Miami-based developer, plans to build more affordable housing units throughout the tri-county area, including single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes and duplexes in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Hallandale in 2020. 

Beatrice Bray and Spiller stand in Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale.

Photos courtesy of Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel photos



NEWS AND UPDATES
Sadowski Housing Trust Fund
Video highlights affordable housing issues and high costs in Broward County and the general issues that come with affordability costs.