OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. – The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has hired a consulting firm to help develop a strategic plan for attainable housing in Okaloosa.
According to the BCC, it has contracted with consulting firm Thomas P. Miller and Associates to evaluate and further develop strategies around attainable housing needs in the county. The company will undertake the creation of a countywide comprehensive, attainable workforce housing strategic plan, the BCC said.
The firm reportedly will work with county staff and the county’s affordable housing advisory committee to perform economic research and analyses, conduct engagement sessions, and formulate recommendations designed to promote the development, preservation, and access to housing to help meet the need of Okaloosa County’s resident workforce and families.
Attainable housing is generally defined as housing that can be afforded by people earning around the Area Median Income.
“We have a tremendous need for attainable housing in Okaloosa County,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Trey Goodwin.
“We will continue to make it a priority to address housing needs for all of our residents, including working families, by enhancing our housing inventory and identifying additional strategies that address this issue.”
According to the BCC, Okaloosa County is growing rapidly, and the need for workforce housing is expected to escalate. Okaloosa is preparing to meet this need and have housing options in support of our service members working on Eglin Air Force Base and accompanying installations, the BCC said.
“We are excited to work with the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to identify and address needs relating to workforce housing,” said Aaron Finley, Economic Development Senior Consultant and Project Lead for Thomas P. Miller and Associates.
“This Attainable Housing Strategic Plan will seek to ensure stability for the local economy and for the working families who are critical to the long-term success of the county.”
In a statement, the BCC said it has implemented several measures to promote the availability of attainable housing. It said the study will seek to quantify their effectiveness and build on these efforts with a comprehensive plan of actions, strategies, and timelines that will aid the county in reaching the goal of increasing the inventory of long-term attainable housing.
The plan is estimated to be completed and available to the public by the end of this year. The funding for this study is being provided through a Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund (LATCF) grant.