Affordable housing agreement approved

Panama Commons

The Panama Commons affordable housing community in Panama City was constructed by Paces and awarded a LEED Platinum status for energy efficiency.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 09:23 AM.

The first phase of an initiative to bring affordable housing to Port St. Joe got a green light from city commissioners on Tuesday.

The next step is up to the Paces Foundation and the state of Florida.

The city and Paces agreed formally to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that fuels the foundation’s application for critical housing tax credits to pump capital into a proposal to build up to 74 affordable housing units on the north side of the city.

“We look forward to working with you for a long, long time,” said Rick Haymond, a development associate with the Paces Foundation, a not-for-profit that has constructed affordable housing complexes around Northwest Florida.

The city’s part of the deal comes with little cost or risk.

The city agrees to designate the development, on 41.96 acres near the Washington Recreation Center as affordable and allow the construction of up to 74 units, which will primarily if not solely apartments.

The city agrees to work with Paces and the county on any issues that represent an obstacle to the development and to provide a platform for Paces to reach out to the community for review and input of design and development of the property.

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