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Have you ever considered how much it costs to build affordable housing?

unsplash-logoAaron Kato

And I’m not trying to discourage you. My hope is that you are interested and impassioned to create affordable housing. Northeast Florida could benefit from having more of it.

Recently, Changing Homelessness submitted the annual Point In Time count numbers to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). From this data, on any given night there are 1,794 persons homeless in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. Of that total, 429 were unsheltered, or literally on the streets on Wednesday, January 24th. There were 126 homeless families counted that included a total of 384 persons and 237 were children.

The effects of homelessness has been well documented over the past two decades. Some of the most significant are shortened life span and exposure to trauma.

Besides the health impacts there’s also a financial price. The most recent Florida study on the cost of homelessness places it at $31,000 per person, per year. “Living on the streets isn’t cheap.”

So, what prompted you to want to build affordable housing? Are you looking to dramatically reduce homelessness? If so, we have great news. This has been done in Northeast Florida for homeless Veterans; Veteran homelessness has been reduced by over 80% in the last four years.

How are we doing it?

Each week, we host a by name list/case conferencing meeting which includes monthly reporting on housing status. This could be replicated in the larger homeless population by an infusion of funding for specific interventions: diversion, rapid rehousing, and permanent supportive housing. All of these interventions would need to be coordinated and working in the housing first model.

Housing with services identified and available is the answer to ending homelessness.

Our community applies for every HUD opportunity that is put forward. If a project includes building housing, an agency will typically braid funding from multiple local, state and federal sources in addition to fundraising 15-25% of the total cost.

As I said, I definitely do not want to discourage you, only give you the facts. If you’re still interested, call me. We have a Continuum of Care and YOU should join us.

Author: Dawn Gilman, CEO/President Changing Homelessness

2 replies
  1. Johnd926
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