Boynton officials to learn how to create housing authority in February


Boynton Beach’s leaders have become more intrigued by the thought of creating a housing authority in the city.

In December, city commissioners at the Community Redevelopment Agency board meeting asked their legal team to research how they could create an authority so they could bring in redevelopment themselves. The authority could provide affordable housing to low-income families through government assistance programs.

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The board’s attorney came back with good news on Tuesday at the CRA board meeting. Attorney Tara Duhy said the city can have a housing authority, and its boundaries would be the entire city plus 10 miles outside, but not in another municipality. The city would have to create the authority, not the CRA. But the CRA could partner with the authority. The authority would have an independent board and a staff. And the authority would be able to partner with nonprofits.

Duhy plans to bring back at the February CRA meeting more exact information and success stories of other authorities for the board to look at.

The interest in creating the authority came in December after the board members heard of setbacks to three proposed redevelopment projects. They said they have grown frustrated with relying on the private sector to build low-income homes and apartments in the Heart of Boynton neighborhoods.

It’s the job of the CRA and its board members to eliminate blight and to redevelop the Heart of Boynton area, where Martin Luther King Jr. and Seacrest boulevards meet, and the neighborhoods surrounding it. The median household income there is less than $30,000, according to CRA documents.

“Our goal is to provide housing for residents that have been lost since 2007. There’s been a decline in the people living in the Heart of Boynton Beach ever since 1990,” Mayor Steven Grant told The Palm Beach Post in December.

Boynton’s neighbor to the south, Delray Beach, has a housing authority, and so does Palm Beach County.


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