In June 2018, Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich joined AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) CEO Michael Weinstein for the unveiling of his plans to build a sixteen-story building filled with 680 “micro units” near downtown Fort Lauderdale. Rich’s support of the highly controversial plan should come as no surprise. Even though she represents Weston and small portions of West Broward, Rich is a huge proponent of “affordable housing” for the homeless in the downtown area.
Rich was a driving force behind the Housing Trust Fund measure on last year’s ballot. In a Sun-Sentinel editorial, Rich claimed the fund would create a “lock box” to secure affordable housing. She wrote, “It takes a strong coalition of non-profits, the business community, municipalities, and advocates like you to solve the affordable housing crisis for thousands of Broward County’s renters and homeowners.” The fund passed with 73 percent of the vote.
REDBROWARD revealed Commissioner Rich’s office is using official County resources to promote the AHF/Healthy Housing Foundation project dubbed “Trantalis Tower.” Rich’s County Commission Aide Stephanie Rosendorf used her County e-mail account to promote a January candlelight vigil organized by AHF. Rosendorf and AHF Legislative Director Ebonni Bryant a members of the progressive New Leaders Council (NLC) which supports the AHF project.
Last weekend, a Sun-Sentinel story described the sudden popularity of “granny flats.” These shed-like buildings are being promoted by left-wing groups as a solution to the affordable housing crisis. Their theory behind “granny flats” is there is plenty of land in peoples backyards to accommodate the placement of these “mother-in-law cottages.” These groups hope to change local laws which ban theses “alternative dwelling units.”
Commissioner Nan Rich told the Sun-Sentinel it is time to change the law. “To solve the affordable-housing crisis, we’re going to have to use multiple options,” Rich said. “Just because it hasn’t been done here yet, it’s not a reason for us not to try.”
Last year, Commissioner Nan Rich acknowledged there was no “silver bullet” solution to the affordable housing crisis. Instead, Rich endorsed a controversial multi-level plan pushed by County officials. The plan would drastically reshape the South Florida landscape.
The Nan Rich plan included the creation of the housing trust fund. The plan would allow for giant apartment complexes along major roads if the developers promised to charge lower rent to residents. The Rich plan allows the County to buy land which would then be given to developers if the build affordable housing on the land. Nan Rich even called for “Encouraging…golf courses and big-box centers be transformed into projects that combine commercial space, offices and mixed-income residential units.”
WELCOME TO WESTON?
The official Broward County Housing Plan states, “People of all income levels, in all of Broward’s communities, should have a range of housing options, and should have access to quality, affordable housing.”
One Broward city with an abundance of golf courses and big-box centers is Weston. It has access to fantastic public schools, parks, and medical facilities. It’s located near healthy food options and shopping. Located at the intersection of I-75, the Sawgrass Expressway and I-595, Weston has lots of transportation options for residents. Why should the homeless and those at-risk renters be forced to deal with all that downtown traffic? If they live out west they can save money shopping at Sawgrass Mills mall instead of overspending on the couture found at the Galleria and Las Olas.
Some say Weston would be the ideal for huge affordable apartment complexes.
According to Broward property records, Commissioner Nan Rich’s million-dollar estate is the perfect place for Granny Flats. Located on the greens of the exclusive Weston Hills Country Club, Nan Rich’s 4,000 sq. ft has plenty of room for the tiny homes. Satellite photos show the golf course behind the Rich home could accommodate dozens and dozens of granny flats.
Surely Nan Rich would agree the well-off members of the Weston Hills Country Club should give up memberships to help solve this crisis. After all, there are plenty of public golf courses around Broward, right?
BEACH FRONT LIVING?
If you are an affordable housing crisis victim who prefer the beach to the Everglades it is your lucky day. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis owns plenty of land on the eastside of town.
According to property records, Trantalis owns rental units near the 17th Street Causeway. Hopefully he is changing next to nothing in rent! A Trantalis owned building in Wilton Manors is currently home to a restaurant/bar. Surely, it could be repurposed to house the homeless, right Dean?
Like Nan Rich, Dean Trantalis’ Fort Lauderdale home has lots of room for granny flats. Google photos show the front yard could easily accommodate two units. Since the home is waterfront, residents would enjoy the ultimate peace and tranquility.
But if your solution to the affordable housing crisis includes beachfront living then Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman can help.
Property records show Glassman lives in a luxury beach condominium with amenities galore. Does Glassman and his neighbors really need a pool when they live on the beach? Let’s tap that housing trust fund “lock box” to fill in that pool and replace it with granny flats. Since the beach near the building is not a tourist destination, let’s put up some beachfront granny flats.
Why should our political leaders keep the homeless penned up in sixteen-story towers filled with 200 sq.ft apartments? They have every right to enjoy all of Broward County.