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Jonathan Brown

Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners

Palm Beach County, Florida

Elevating Black Communities through Resident Empowerment

Summary

The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners will build upon alliances developed between Black community residents and local government to work towards eliminating social and economic inequities to improve homeownership stability and generational wealth.

Description

The core of the policy innovation of the Palm Beach County (PBC) Office of Community Revitalization (OCR), and by extension the Countywide Community Revitalization Team (CCRT), is first accomplished by empowering residents in targeted areas through the creation of community groups that are actively engaged in the identification of issues, formulation of solutions, and implementation of programming. Efforts to increase home values in Black communities, and by extension Black generational wealth, is based on the precept that historic devaluation is first remediated by mitigating community blight, whether real or perceived, and secondly continuing to develop and apply structurally innovative housing assistance programs that serve to create and maintain homeownership in Black communities. This includes the use of mortgage assistance, renovation and repairs, as well as the County’s early adoption of a Workforce Housing (inclusionary zoning) program, and enhanced development incentives to create affordable housing. These efforts include the forthcoming Housing Improvement Program (HIP), which will directly help homeowners with code violations avoid punitive fines that would be adverse to efforts to promote Black wealth building through increased home values.

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