Manatee Sets Incentive Program for Affordable Homes


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, November 6, 2017 – Searching for relatively newer Bradenton homes for sale priced under the $200s would probably limit the choices to just a handful of condos like the Palms of Cortez. Moving forward though, the selection for affordable residences could widen significantly with the recent approval of the “Livable Manatee Incentive Program.”

This new program is designed to encourage developers to undertake more affordable housing projects. Under it, the county shall shoulder the impact fees charged to developers to cover the costs of infrastructure associated with the growth that the property developments induce. The items that impact fees cover include roads, parks, schools, and water and sewer connection.

Price Ceiling Set

Affordable Housing Choices

The county’s subsidies on impact fees will be extended to new developments for single family homes and apartment rental units. Projects with more than 18 single family homes should have up to 33 percent of the total units meeting the affordable housing criteria. In the county’s incentive program, pricing for these houses should not be more than $176,000.

According to county estimates, developers could save about $15,000 on each single family home built under the incentive program. Developers have to commit to land use restriction agreements which provide that the homes they build with incentives will remain within the set affordable segment for 15 to 25 years.

To be covered by the incentive program, the rental apartments must have at least 25 percent of its housing units affordable based on the criteria of the Florida Housing Finance Corp. These homes must be also within a quarter-mile of a bus stop.

The county is also seeking ways to help developers overcome financial, regulatory and political hurdles to enable them to create multi-family communities affordable to working families. Developable parcels in the county’s urban core close to jobs, schools and transit are also being identified for affordable multi-family housing.

Palms of Cortez Template

Proximity to plenty of local amenities, besides affordability, is notably one of the market strengths of the Palms of Cortez. This condominium, which appears an ideal template for affordable housing projects, is located on the block of 5802 51st Street West. Its site is just south of Cortez Road and the commercial hubs in this road corridor.

Developed in 2002, this is a gated, garden-style community of 450 townhouses. It mostly consists of three-story buildings with some clustered around a small lake. Home choices here start from one-bedroom, one-bath condos with floor areas of about 800 square feet and asking prices in the low $100s.

Two-bedroom condos for sale at the same price range with floor plans of between 1,040 and 1,140 square feet are also typically available in this pet-friendly property. The amenities that the Palms of Cortez provides its residents include a lakefront clubhouse with a swimming pool. It also features two tennis courts, a fitness center, picnic area, and barbecue facilities. Residents are likewise provided with a business center, computer suite, car wash area, and laundry service.

A Downtown Choice

Mainstreet at Bradenton Condo

Prospective buyers who can’t wait for Manatee’s push for affordable homes to gain traction can also turn to attractively priced units of Mainstreet at Bradenton Condo. One rarely available unit was sales-listed here this October with a tag price in the high $100s, featuring two bedrooms and two baths within a living area of 1,009 square feet.

Built in 2003, this four-story condominium is located on downtown Bradenton’s 3rd Street West just off the Riverwalk Park alongside the Manatee River. Walkable to the downtown Bradenton’s various facilities and business centers, this gated condominium offers various amenities such as a clubhouse with a pool, lounge, gym, and picnic and barbecue areas. It also provides a business center, Wi-Fi, bike racks, and a dog park.