FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COMMUNITIES CONTINUE TO FACE SERIOUS SHORTAGES IN AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING
According to Published Research Report Commissioned by the
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (January 15, 2013) – For families seeking an alternative to purchasing a home or displaced by the foreclosure crisis, finding affordable rental housing is becoming a crisis in itself. With exploding average monthly rents that have skyrocketed 71% since 2000, more individuals and families are having a difficult time securing housing that doesn’t consume their entire monthly income. This data and more is reported in a 2012 report, Affordability Foreclosed: The Rental Housing Challenge commissioned by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
The report documents how the Great Recession and the devastating housing market collapse continues to impact thousands of individuals and families who are struggling with high under-employment, unemployment, stagnant wages, tight credit, minimal discretionary income, and rising costs. The 2012 report, which is an update of the Community Foundation’s 2007 rental housing study, was compiled by researchers at Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center led by Ned Murray, Ph.D., AICP, Principal Investigator.
The Community Foundation’s leadership on affordable rental housing issues is long standing. Utilizing resources provided through the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Community Foundation’s MacArthur Foundation Fund, and the additional support of donors, the Foundation has supported the initiatives and operations of nonprofit housing and community development organizations throughout Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
To highlight the data contain in the 2012 report, the Community Foundation has partnered with YourPBC.org, a civic engagement website that brings local issues to the forefront in Palm Beach County. Information from the study, as well as polls, thought-provoking articles and a panel of local and state housing industry experts, will be presented to spur discussions on the “online public square” about increasing rental prices, shrinking options and divided communities.
The Community Foundation also plans to broadly disseminate the report findings among community and business leaders, advocates and policymakers and to invite opportunities for area residents to collaboratively seek and identify solutions. Requests for presentations and briefings on the report findings for your association or group can be made to Tina Snider, Director of Marketing and Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want this to be a community-wide conversation given no community is untouched by these issues,” comments Leslie Lilly, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We believe the Community Foundation can best lead and support positive change by data-driven assessments, listening to and learning from others, and responding to needs where our mission and strengths align.”
“The report makes clear that the growing gap in the availability of affordable rental housing will not be easily solved, yet it also notes there are tools and resources on which to literally build—if innovation is a handmaiden in the process,” Lilly adds. “These are unprecedented times and unprecedented solutions must be found and the best way to get to that destination is to journey there together.”
Director of Marketing and Communications
About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Together with our family of donors, the Foundation has invested over $94 million in Palm Beach and Martin Counties since opening our doors in 1972 and has awarded grants and led initiatives that address food security, affordable housing and education. As one of Florida’s largest community foundations, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties joins with other foundations, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders to address the needs of the community and build consensus for solutions. The Community Foundation has total assets of more than $140 million. For more information, visit www.yourcommunityfoundation.org.
YourPBC.org is a civic engagement website that brings local issues in Palm Beach County to the forefront. The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties created YourPBC.org in 2009 with a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation which supports program initiatives nationally that create informed and engaged communities. In 2011, the Community Foundation engaged the Economic Development Research Institute to manage the site and present relevant, timely issues to the public for input, discussion and debate.