Manatee Sets Affordable Housing Incentives


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April 20th, 2017 – An advisory committee tasked to draft incentives for affordable housing in Manatee County has come up with a four-point plan which could soon help expand local home buying choices at easier price points.

Manatee home buyers currently searching for affordably priced options would be typically confined to combing through resale properties in older communities. Common destinations for Bradenton homes for sale at such price ranges include Bayshore Gardens and DeSoto Square Villas. Here, the asking prices of available Bradenton residences mostly trend below the February 2017 estimated median price in Manatee of $289,752 for single family homes and $174,500 for condos.

The field of Manatee home choices at lower price levels though could broaden towards newer builds in new communities. This is if the county adopts a four-point plan outlining priorities for affordable housing.

Incentives Eyed for Developers

Manatee Sets Affordable Housing Incentives

These four proposals, approved early this year by the county’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC), include a map identifying the best sites for multifamily residential development which are close to such assets as jobs, schools and transit. Further, the committee suggests that the county grant tax and other incentives to draw developers to the locations identified.

Additionally, the committee proposes a pay-in or buy-in fee for extra home density in less affordable developments. The revenue collected would go into an affordable housing trust fund which would subsidize housing developments within reach of much of the workforce.

The fourth item in the committee’s plan calls for hiring a staff who would expedite affordable housing proposals in the county. This person shall walk these projects through from start of all applications up to their final approvals.

Affordable housing proponents in Manatee are generally pleased by these four-pronged plan. A working document on the AHAC plan will be worked later this year to include steps on how it will jibe with the Land Development Code and set up the elements required for the plan’s implementation.

Some Picks at the Lower-end

Providing incentives for affordable housing would certainly be a welcome development in Manatee, given the slim inventory of affordably priced residences in the county. In February, a drop in inventory and declines in listings were again recorded for available resale homes priced under the $200s range.

Nonetheless, prospective buyers can still find some affordably priced new listings with the help of a well-networked realtor. Unlikely to be missed by these pros, for instance, are the three recent listings of single family homes at Bayshore Gardens. These are all priced in the $100s and feature floor plans of between 1,000 and 1,800 square feet designed with two to three bedrooms.

Bayshore Gardens, though a vintage neighborhood, offers plenty of perks, such as a community center recreation room, Olympic-sized pool and playground. Choice properties here overlook Sarasota Bay, and the entire community enjoys proximity to the Bayshore Gardens Marina.

Similarly affordable choices in the $100s are currently available at the Desoto Square Villa just south of downtown Bradenton. This community of multifamily residences currently has listings of Bradenton homes for sale with floor areas ranging from 900 to 1,144 square feet featuring two bedrooms and two baths. The amenities in this gated neighborhood include service elevators, heated pool, exercise room, shuffleboard and tennis court.