Manatee County authorizes greater subsidies for affordable housing

MANATEE COUNTY — To encourage more affordable housing, Manatee County is greatly expanding its effort to subsidize upfront costs for developers.

On Tuesday, the commission unanimously adopted the new “Livable Manatee Incentive Program.”

Previously, the county would pay impact fees required on the new construction of single-family homes that meet affordable housing criteria.

The new program calls for the county to pick up the costs of county impact fees — used for roads, parks and other infrastructure associated with growth — school impact fees and water and sewer connection fees for single-family home subdivisions as well as multi-family rental complexes that are priced for working families.

Geri Lopez, the county’s director of redevelopment and economic opportunity, said the incentives will save developers about $15,000 on a single-family home and $8,500 on a multi-family rental unit.

The county expects to budget $568,037 annually for the program.

Rental complexes will be required to be within a quarter mile of a bus stop and must have at least 25 percent affordable housing. Rents must be set according to criteria by the Florida Housing Finance Corp.

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