At the corner of State Road 7 and Coral Bay Boulevard in Margate there’s what looks like any ordinary luxury apartment complex being developed.
It may still be a construction zone, but the 100 units have all steel appliances, granite countertops in the kitchen and tile flooring. Outside there will be walking trails, a swimming pool and outdoor fitness stations.
Yet these apartment units aren't going to cost nearly as much as Broward or Palm Beach County's average rent — between $1,600 and $1,800 a month.
Arbor View will be a model of affordable housing for older adults. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment will cost renters over 55 years of age less than $800 a month, while a 2-2 will be in the $900s a month.
Housing Trust Group President and CEO Mathew Rieger is the man behind the development.
“The demand is for hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units," he said. "It's a supply problem.”
Housing Trust Group is a private company that has also built other developments similar to Arbor View in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Palm Beach County and Miami.
Rieger said he is able to offer lower rents because of Florida’s low-income tax credit program for housing. The program reduces a company's federal tax liability in exchange for building extremely low-rent housing.
Residents at Arbor View can’t make more than 60 percent of the area’s median income. For this area, residents must make $36,000 a year or less in order to live here. Unsurpringly, there’s a wait list.
As the situation stands though, private-public partnerships like Housing Trust Group that builds affordable units aren’t going to save South Florida from its high-rent crisis, Rieger said. He believes legislators will have to take the tax credit program further to solve this problem.
“The only way we’re going to get to where we need to be is when our politicians devote sufficient resources to expanding programs that we know are successful,” Rieger said.
Arbor View has been in the works since 2016, but it is on track to open for it’s new residents by the end of February, with a grand opening in early March.