Jacksonville slated for $10M affordable housing boost in next Donna Deegan budget. Will City Council back it?
Image via City of Jacksonville

Donna Deegan
'This shows what is possible when we all come together to find solutions to our city’s challenges.'

The rent is too damn high in Jacksonville, like everywhere else. But Democratic Mayor Donna Deegan is offering an eight-figure expenditure in her upcoming budget proposal that could offer local relief, if it meets the muster of the supermajority Republican City Council.

The Mayor’s Office is announcing that Deegan is “committing $10 million in her proposed 2024-2025 budget to jumpstart an innovative affordable housing loan fund, a public-private partnership that would ultimately catalyze $120 million in new multifamily rental housing.”

The proposal envisions “public, private and philanthropic low-interest loans, offering low-cost financing to developers” who can take advantage of 4% tax credit financing from the state.

“We’re facing a crisis of affordable housing in Jacksonville, and this innovative housing fund presents the opportunity for us to attract an additional $12 of investment for every $1 the city invests,” Deegan said.

“This shows what is possible when we all come together to find solutions to our city’s challenges. I’m grateful for all the philanthropic, business, City Council, and community leaders who are working together to solve the challenge of affordable housing.”

“This is an exciting day for our work to address the affordable housing crisis in Jacksonville,” added City of Jacksonville Affordable Housing Director Joshua Hicks.

According to Zillow, the average rent in Jacksonville is $1,664.

While that’s below the national median and down year over year, those microtrends don’t help much given that, per the Mayor’s Office, the average renter in Jacksonville has been “cost-burdened” since 2011, when John Peyton was still Mayor. The city has 48 affordable units for every 100 people that need them, compounding the pressure on the lower end of the market.

Other stakeholders hailed the proposal.

“The duPont Fund and our partners have conducted research and been in conversations with experts for years about the most effective strategies to finance affordable housing in Jacksonville,” said Mari Kuraishi, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

“This model is unique because it can attract private and philanthropic dollars that would otherwise be sitting on the sidelines and return the capital to be re-invested in the community.”

“The Community Foundation has worked with donors to make impact investments for years, and the housing fund presents an exciting opportunity to expand the scale of those investments,” added Isaiah M. Oliver, President of The Community Foundation.

“I want to thank the mayor for taking this critical first step, and I look forward to more conversations with the city and potential investors about why we believe the fund is a promising solution for a specific need in our community.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • MH/Duuuval

    April 10, 2024 at 7:56 pm

    Rory Diamond, the new mouth of the South, has returned to the Council. Watch what he does — my guess is he’ll carp about overspending and personal responsibility and oppose housing. (His solution is a city full of mother-in-law houses.)

  • the Truth

    April 10, 2024 at 10:01 pm

    Don’t pay for a new stadium, make Khan the Con pay for it or take then team and leave,, just think how much affordable housing $1,000,000,000 would buy???

    • Margaret

      April 13, 2024 at 12:39 pm

      Hear! Hear!
      The majority of Jacksonville taxpayers do not go to Jaguars football games, and a sizeable portion of Citizens do not have the money to pay for what has become a rich man’s game for out-of-towners who fly in and out of Jax and stay at hotels at the Beach or in Ponte Vedra.
      Khan is a multi-billionaire. Let him fund his own stadium!

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