July 13, 2020

Mayor Carruthers

Board of County Commissioners

RE:  July 2020 Agenda Item I.5 – ROGO Conversions

Dear Commissioners:

Having reviewed and discussed the staff’s seven proposed options, the Board of Last Stand recommends the following principles to guide your decision.

  1. All unallocated Affordable Housing (AH) ROGOs should be converted to AH/WH (Workforce Housing). The affordability of non-workforce housing should no longer be addressed with limited County building allocations.
    1. Any new AH ROGOs either awarded or converted should be placed into this new AH/WH category.
    2. The criteria for WH/AH should include:
      1. 70% income required (workforce)
      2. Income/rent restricted (very low, low, medium)
  • Tier 3, no V zone, no CBRS
  1. The new AH/WH ROGOs should be divided into rental and ownership pools.
    1. The new AH/WH rental pool should be much smaller than the ownership pool.
      1. The County and municipalities have recently built a significant amount of workforce rental housing within and near employment centers
      2. AH ROGOS have been reserved for additional not yet built workforce rentals.
  • Unincorporated Monroe is suburban and rural, appropriate for low- density Single Family ownership.
  1. The new AH/WH ownership pool should have the following deed restrictions:
    1. Single Family Home
    2. Homestead
  • Legally platted lot
  1. The Board believes the creation of a modified Market Rate pool that is not income restricted does not help the affordability problem. Employment status will not stop market forces from driving this new category into unaffordability.  We recommend income restrictions for all Workforce ROGOs.
  2. If incentives to accelerate the award of regular Market Rate ROGOs are to be considered, points for deed restricting to workforce is a good idea. This preserves what would otherwise risk eventual vacation rental use.
    1. Property tax exemptions for affordable workforce rental continues to be “difficult to enact” but potentially effective incentive.

Last Stand applauds your efforts to assure the few remaining ROGOs within our 24-evacuation pool are used to help assure viable workforce housing in our tourist lodging dominated Florida Keys.

Thank you,

The Last Stand Board