Manatee County hopes Livable Manatee will encourage affordable housing

County officials unveiled Monday a new incentive program intended to encourage developers to build affordable housing.

The Livable Manatee program, which has been in the works since the spring, will offer financial incentives to developers if they build either single-family or multifamily developments in portions of the county. With an unanimous approval from the county’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee on Monday, Livable Manatee will go before the county commission on Aug. 8 for approval.

“We think it is going to bring quite a bit of development to Manatee County,” said Denise Thomas, the county’s housing and community development manager. “We are stepping really outside of the box and bringing something that is not traditional. We are hoping to be setting an example for others to follow.”

With approximately $3 million available, Manatee County would be enhancing the incentives, which has been “a real barrier to developing affordable housing,” currently offered under the recommended program, according to Geri Lopez, the county’s redevelopment and economic opportunity director.

“That’s been one of the clear challenges that we have been hearing the community, the developers,” Lopez said.

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