Affordable Housing RFP Moves Forward
The Key West City Commission, in a 4-3 vote, decided to move forward with a request for proposals for the affordable housing project slated for the 3.2 acres that lies between Bahama Village and the Truman Waterfront Park.
The RFP was discussed again by the Bahama Village Advisory Committee and goes back to the community in a Sept. 9th public workshop at 5 p.m. at the Douglass Gym. It is expected to be finalized, after the community input, and published on September 15th.
Commissioner Sam Kaufman had introduced a resolution that the City accept an unsolicited proposal for the development from AH Monroe in order to get the housing built more quickly.
During the commission discussion, the AH proposal was highly praised, but commissioners decided that accepting bids through an RFP was the fair and transparent process.
Timing is an issue, both for receiving grant funding and for a public referendum. According to the City’s Charter, and land lease longer than ten years – and this project is looking for a 99-year lease – requires the community to vote on it. That special election will be held on January 18th.
“We tightened up the RFP timeline,” said City Manager Patti McLauchlin, “to make it work.”
She added that it’s vital the community understand and turn out for the special election.
Affordable housing has been at the forefront of concerns in the community for years. The 3.2 acres was earmarked for affordable housing when the land was transferred to the City.
“We really want community to come out and vote during this special election,” said McLauchlin. “The community told us in our Strategic Plan survey that affordable housing should he the City’s top priority and we have listened. We have a great window of opportunity to create much-needed housing, and we are going to make it happen.”