This Workforce Housing Action Plan details current housing cost burden rates in the City of Winter Haven and lays out a set of recommendations that will have a meaningful impact on the availability of housing that is high quality, safe, and affordable to households at all income levels.
No single plan can predict and address every possible shift in priorities, changes in leadership, budget constraints, fluctuations in global to local economic conditions, or other exogenous event. Recognizing this reality, the recommendations in this report are founded on four fundamental principles:
1) The City has a responsibility to support the continuum of housing needs for all residents.
2) Affordable housing should be viewed as a community asset/infrastructure.
3) Long-term affordability is critical for preserving an adequate supply of housing.
4) Transparency and accountability are key for meaningful public participation and widespread support.
If elected officials, policymakers, and residents of Winter Haven adhere to these principles, Winter Haven’s housing market will be positioned to support all residents, no matter their circumstance.
Our research for this report identified numerous highly encouraging examples of policies already in place. For instance, Winter Haven leadership proactively targeted federal Coronavirus fiscal relief funds for supporting affordable housing, the city’s land use code is remarkably supportive of accessory dwelling units (ADU), and the R-3 zone is a model for flexibility in housing types.
Our recommendations are based on data analysis, input from the community, stakeholder interviews, and industry standards for improving access to workforce housing.
The following recommendations are fleshed out with strategies, supporting data, and narrative within the report.
Once the recommendations in this report are implemented, the City of Winter Haven and its residents can expect: