City Releases $7.2M to Support Construction of Affordable Housing

Published on February 07, 2023


The City of Gainesville is making $7.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding available to help lower-income neighbors rent or buy affordable homes. In order to receive the funding, developers must commit to build subsidized homes or apartments for families with incomes at or below 65% of the city’s area median income (AMI) for new rental units and at 300% of the Gainesville federal poverty level for for-sale units. 

The problem of finding housing that fits a lower-income budget has gotten more challenging in recent years. The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports there are approximately 10.8 million extremely low-income families spread out across the country, but there are only about three million affordable homes. Every state and community is impacted, and the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation worse.

Gainesville city commissioners first approved ARPA funds to build affordable housing when presented with the proposal at a General Policy Committee meeting in July 2022. The plan from Housing & Community Development Director Corey Harris earmarks $6 million for developers who agree to construct rental units and $1.2 million for those building single-family or multi-family homes for first-time buyers.

GRACE Marketplace Executive Director Jon DeCarmine says this initiative will make a substantial difference, particularly for neighbors who have fallen on hard times, lost their apartment or home, and who cannot get enough money together to reenter Gainesville’s rising housing market. DeCarmine calls the people who fall into this category “one-time homeless,” and he estimates they make up 80% of those GRACE helps.   

“We ask people, if housing was available to you that was affordable and met your needs, would you be interested in moving into that housing? And on average, 95% of people say, ‘Absolutely, if there was housing that was available and affordable I would love to move into that housing.’”

Developers will be able to access the ARPA funding application on the Housing & Community Development webpage beginning Thursday, Feb. 9. Applications must be submitted by 7 a.m. Monday, March 6. Funding awards are subject to approval by the Gainesville City Commission and based on availability. 

Update: This program is no longer available.