No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

2022-07-18T02:56:44-04:00November 5th, 2021|Jacksonville, Real Estate|

Writer: Jerrica DuBois

2 min read November 2021 — Everyone wants a decent place to live for a decent price. But as the costs increase, the migrant population swells and the supply dwindles, it is becoming more difficult to make that a reality for many Jacksonville residents.

“We need to increase housing opportunities for our workforce, low-income and extremely low-income housing families in Jacksonville,” Dwayne Alexander, president and CEO of the Jacksonville Housing Authority told Invest:. “Many families are on the verge of becoming displaced.”

According to a recent report by the Northeast Association of Realtors, the median sales price for housing in the area has increased 19.7 percent in the past year. For those who can afford to play the game, it’s a seller’s market. The median price hit a record of $307,230 in September. According to the report, that is the highest it has been in 15 years. And while the demand for housing is strong, many Jacksonville residents are not willing, or able, to anti-up.

The demand for affordable housing has not been lost on the big players in the industry. Multifamily is a hot market and investors are cashing in by flipping homes for profit or renting to people who don’t want to live in an apartment. According to the Northeast Association of Realtors, the area from Downtown Jacksonville and Springfield to Paxon and north to the Trout River saw the biggest percentage increase at 50.9%, although there are a few areas in Jacksonville where the increase isn’t quite so steep. Southside, Riverside and Keystone all hovered around or below a 10% increase in median sale price.

There are organizations that are working to help combat the affordable housing crisis. Founded in 1979, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) pools public and private funds to build partnerships and invest in the community. Its five-tier Housing Stabilization Fund has helped many residents move into desirable homes.

The Patriot Services Group works a little differently. It buys apartment complexes and renovates them into affordable housing units for veterans. The group provides affordable housing for veterans all across the country but is based in Jacksonville due to the large military presence in the city. Jacksonville has thousands of active duty, reserve and civilian men and women, accounting for 17% of Duval County’s economy and providing nearly 100,000 jobs. Patriot Services Group is in the process of completing the Springfield Initiative, a $4.5 million project that will rehabilitate multifamily, permanent supportive housing for homeless and “at-risk” veterans.

The increase in housing prices is a national concern, and while Jacksonville is faring better than other Florida cities, local leaders are charged with keeping their residents in homes they can afford. According to Alexander, the occupation rate for the workforce and low-income communities is between 98% and 100%, which means there is little or no availability. “The need for affordable housing has accelerated over the past two years,” he says. “Regrettably, we cannot meet that demand quickly enough.” 

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