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Questions surround affordability of St. Johns County apartments as proposal goes to committee vote

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — St. Johns County’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee is meeting Wednesday to discuss a potential new affordable housing development that aims to address an important issue in the county.

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The 180 apartments are supposed to be built off County Road 208 and Cabbage Hammock Road. They are labeled as low-cost and are tailored to essential workers.

The county’s chamber of commerce released a report on affordable housing in the county last fall. It said rent for the proposed apartments wouldn’t actually be affordable for workers like teachers and sheriff’s office employees.

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A little less than half the units will be offered for people making up to 120% of the area’s median income.

The chamber said that only 3% of the apartments in the county are affordable for these workers.

“So, the inventory is not there, even when they can afford it,” explained St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Isabelle Renault.

Read: St. Johns County neighbors share concerns over ‘affordable’ apartments proposal

“We’ve got to benefit the people who are out there trying to find a place to live,” said Charles Labanowski, a homeowner in the area.

The St. Johns County’s Planning and Zoning Board recommended that the apartments be approved, but it’s not a done deal yet. The proposal still has to go through the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners for a final vote.

Read: JSO: Man shot in stomach when he opened door to home on Jacksonville’s Westside

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