As we celebrate our City’s 15-year anniversary, I am moved by the fact that not only did we survive this long against all odds, but we are thriving enough to do some very creative things to help the good people of West Park to love where they live in our city. As you are seeing throughout this commemorative newspaper, there have been many accomplishments in the past that we are very proud of. Looking towards the future, I would like to highlight one project that will end up being a first of its kind for a city of our size, desire, and challenges.
Recently, I worked with our Broward County Commissioner Dr. Barbara Sharief to create the West Park In-Fill Lot Development Pilot Program. I did so because as President/CEO of Minority Builders Coalition, Inc., I’ve been building wealth generating affordable homes for low/moderate income families throughout Broward County, and as your Vice Mayor, I want to keep bringing the same resources to my neighbors in West Park. Soon, five (5) brand new and attractive homes will be built in West Park, and current residents and applicants with roots in West Park will have a chance to buy these brand new homes that are at least 1,500 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 2-car garage, and a big back yard. Standard features will include energy efficient appliances, water saving fixtures and other amenities that not only save the engorged but will save the buyers money on monthly bills.
To make the houses affordable, we will partner with nonprofit organizations who will build the homes. The nonprofit developers will receive the land from us at no cost to reduce their construction expenses, so they can pass the savings on to West Park buyers. We will also require the nonprofit builders to price the homes within the 80%-120% of AMI low/moderate income affordability ranges, so the sales prices will be much less than what other houses of this size sell for in our neighborhood. Finally, Dr. Sharief has already secured up to $60,000 per family ($300,000 total) of first time homebuyer assistance funds to further bring the mortgages and monthly payments way down.
The four families I built these houses for just last year each moved into their brand new homes with around $100,000 in equity from Day 1. Here’s how: the four brand new houses we built appraised at $269,000-$289,000. We sold these brand new houses at a huge discount at $230,000-$239,000. Each family got another $60,000 in assistance to move in.
Therefore, the families only had mortgages of $179,000-$189,000 because of the reduced sales price and assistance fund. Each family had input into the construction of their homes so the final product met their preferences when finished.
This is just one of a long list of things your City Commission and staff are doing for you here in the great city of West Park. Please stay tuned for more details about the timeline and application process for the West Park In-Fill Lot Development Pilot Program to be announced soon.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in the great City of West Park, “The City of Positive Progression”, we don’t just sit back and WAIT or WISH for progress, we WORK for it!