Affordable housing building booming in Florida

There’s a quiet building boom taking place in South Florida, but it’s nothing like the mid-decade condo rush that ended in an epic economic bust.

The new towers going up today are not being built on the water for the affluent, but on the chipped sidewalks of gritty neighborhoods for the region’s poorest families.

The 2009 federal stimulus package and other government programs aimed at fixing the housing crisis have helped boost the affordable housing sector, which uses government funds to build rental communities for low-income residents. It’s the only sector of South Florida’s housing market in which demand is outpacing supply, analysts say, and thousands of new units are currently being constructed.

There are more than 25 affordable multifamily projects either recently completed or under construction in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, making up a large chunk of all new development in South Florida and providing a boon for the for-profit developers that specialize in affordable housing.

Usually financed with a mix of private lending, federal funds and local government subsidies culled from surtaxes on real estate sales, affordable rental projects are designed to meet the need for reasonably priced housing options in urban communities.

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