BY JAMES HARPER
Daytona Beach is doing more than its fair share to meet housing needs for low-income families, according to Joel Ivey of the Ivey Planning Group. The company produced a study for the city to provide an inventory and analysis of Daytona Beach’s workforce housing supply and projected demand.
Ivey’s study revealed that 53 percent of Daytona Beach’s population live in rented property compared to 47 percent that are occupied by owners.
Fifty-seven percent of households spent 35 percent or more of their income on housing, the study also showed.
“You have provided the majority of affordable housing in the county,” Ivey told Daytona Beach commissioners and the mayor at their Sept. 19 city commission meeting.
Zone 2 City Commissioner Pam Woods said the information is invaluable and confirms what they believed was a problem for the city.
Not only does the city have a disproportionate share of social service agencies, it “negatively impacts us a lot of ways when you concentrate everything here,” Woods said. She added that the city cannot continue create a culture of poverty.
Mayor Glenn Ritchey said he was surprised at the 47 percent owner-occupied statistic. “We need to start monitoring our affordable housing,” he said.
Ivey said he wonders when developers go to Port Orange: “Do they (city) say don’t put it here, go to Daytona Beach. That’s the capitol of affordable housing. That’s not all bad, but it is not all good.”
Ivey’s study said Daytona Beach had 1,870 public housing units compared to Ormond Beach’s 195 units and New Smyrna Beach’s 341 units.
The report also found Daytona Beach had 702 elderly assisted rental units compared to the remainder of the county, which had a total of 780 units.
“A little bit out of kilter for what is normal on the national level. It isn’t far off to the point of alarm,” Ivey remarked.
Ivey called on the officials to start monitoring the inventory of affordable housing stock over time to have a balance more in line with surrounding communities.
However, Ivey added, “We would never advocate there be a reduction in affordable housing.”
“Demand for affordable housing will go up for quite some time as a product of economy,” Ivey continued.
He said given the state of the economy focus should be on attracting jobs with higher wages.
The study also revealed 60 percent of houses and rental units in Daytona Beach were built after 1980.
“A fairly new housing stock. That’s kind of good news,” he noted.
He also reported the persons per household dropped from 2.49 per household to 2.15.
Ivey called that a pretty significant drop. He found no data that explained why families are getting smaller.