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Opinion
Palm Coast Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 4 months ago

Apartments in Palm Coast's Town Center: 'affordable housing' or a 'housing project'?

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The developer 'isn't building it because they’re nice guys with a social conscience,' writer says.
by: Guest Writer

Political spin on Town Center apartments

Dear Editor:

The mayor and the City Council are persisting in their efforts to sell Palm Coast residents on a developer’s plan to build a large apartment complex in the Town Center. They continue to euphemistically refer to the project as “affordable housing” and “workforce housing,” desperately trying to dispel the notion that it will be a government-subsidized low-income housing project. But it will be.

The only difference between this apartment complex and Section 8 low-income housing is the way the rent is subsidized and the landlord reimbursed.

The developer, Atlantic Housing Partners, is a well known (and controversial) builder of low-income housing projects and, as with other such developers, regularly take unfair advantage of a loophole in a law that entitles it to very large federal tax credit subsidies and property tax breaks for building low-income housing.

The original intent of this law was to assist nonprofit entities such as Habitat for Humanity build homes for the needy. The law was not intended to allow for-profit development companies to pocket and profit from these federal tax credits and property tax breaks. The law’s loophole scam usually involves a for-profit developer creating a nonprofit entity solely to qualify for the federal tax credits and other tax breaks that effectively reimburses the clever developer for charging the lower rents.

So, irrespective of how the mayor and City Council disingenuously attempt to portray the Town Center apartment plan and spin the narrative, it will be a government-subsidized low-income housing project very similar to Section 8.

And it will be built by a developer who certainly isn’t building it because they’re nice guys with a social conscience.

Robert Gordon

Palm Coast

 

Thanks for an uplifting story about love

Dear Editor:

In today's world of depressing, sensational and often nasty news, the story with the headline “Love in an unlikely place” was a breath of fresh air. Poignant and uplifting it points out a success where headlines scream failure. As a people, we need more of this. Thanks.

Joe Funaro

Palm Coast

 

Send letters to [email protected]. Letters will be fact-checked and may be edited for length and clarity.

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