Here is why the Orange County Affordable Housing Task Force was ultimately ineffective

This afternoon, the Orange County “Housing for All” task force delivered it’s final report, and it’s numbers and final talking points were underwhelming. This after 8 months of discussion for a product that resulted in findings that were already public knowledge and no accountability system to ensure success moving into the future.

The task force’s goals were 11,000 units of affordable housing for the next ten years. Not even enough to cover the projected growth for the region that is expected during that same time.

Yes, there will be housing built, but the average middle class family in Orlando will struggle to hold on to it. You’ll have five times as many of those overpriced units to choose from.

Furthermore, there were components of the task force that felt that the “human element” wasn’t properly addressed during the process. A notion that was dismissed during the press conference.

Did you get that? Not even everyone involved felt the matter was properly addressed.

Before continuing, I will point out something positive the task force did which was to consider the possibility of removing zoning barriers that will allow us to be more versatile with the kind of housing we can offer to those struggling to find a place. The gripe that the Sadowski housing trust must be better protected is also warranted.

The rest are just buzz words. “Target Areas of Access and Opportunity”, “Engage the Community”, “Create New Financial Resources”.

There is talk of a local housing fund with developers possibly chipping in, but if the county enforces new fees, I’ll be surprised. The taxpayer will likely pick up most of that revenue.

We haven’t seen the final report yet. I’m waiting for it to be available. Afterwards, I’ll go into the details I would have done differently during the process.

In the meanwhile, struggling families will continue to struggle. Up until recently, I had problems finding housing (story HERE). This is real.

For the members of this task force, they completed their photo opp. For them this goes into the wind.

As for Orange County, the campaign to raise the sales tax for transportation continues, whether or not it’s residents can find affordable housing.

The truth is that we have little reason to be more optimistic about this process than when this task force began it’s work months ago and that’s why it was ineffective.

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