Last Stand strongly opposes accepting an additional 1300 workforce housing allocations for the Keys, due to the unintended consequences impacting the residents’ quality of life should these units be built. No one disputes the heightened need for workforce housing in the Keys, however alternatives exist that would neither create an undue tax burden nor compromise public safety
Keys residents can contemplate the negative impacts of 1300 units over the existing Affordable housing units (Rate of Growth Ordinance or ROGOs) to be allocated by the County: increased traffic, additional demands on our already stressed infrastructure, and the likelihood of raised taxes for new schools.
In May, Last Stand characterized the two underlying conditions attached to these 1300 ROGOs as being unrealistic and unenforceable. The intervening months have only reinforced our conviction that expecting early evacuation by service sector employees and first responders 48 hours in advance of a hurricane’s landfall, does not mesh with real life demands on these workers. Further, the requirement for early evacuation by workforce housing residents cannot be enforced by landlords.
There are other solutions to meet the housing needs of the County’s workers: make 80% of the County’s ROGOs available only for workforce housing for Very Low, Low, and Median incomes; effectively enforce existing affordable and vacation rental rules to stop rental abuses; the County could require some businesses to establish housing for its employees. These and other proposed solutions offer a way to meet the needs without unduly burdening the County’s residents.