The lack of attainable, available housing plagued Central Florida well before COVID-19, and now, the crisis mounts every day. Almost 48% of people in the Orlando metro spend more than 30% of their income on housing, with some spending up to 50%. This leaves many precariously housed and one emergency away from losing their home. With even more than 1,500 people moving to the region every week, we can’t build our way out of this. That means we need long-range plans and solutions to make sure everyone in Central Florida has access to a home that fits their budget.
Local business leaders have spearheaded the Housing Impact Fund to address the housing crisis. Rob Panepinto, local business leader and Foundation board member leads this effort as chair of the Central Florida Housing Action Team, convened by Central Florida Foundation. The solution is to incentivize the creation of more homes, both single-family and multi-family, for sale and for rent, across a broad range of prices, in neighborhoods throughout Central Florida. The fund brings the business community in to help address this problem, as has happened in cities across the country like Charlotte, Atlanta and others on the west coast. It meets a broad range of investors where they are ready to support through equity, debt, philanthropy and subsidy.
The fund is now actively raising capital and seeking investors.
The Housing Impact Fund will focus on:
The Sadwoski Funds alone cannot solve the housing crisis. In theory, even if it was funded at 100%, government dollars can only support certain types of housing. Federal and state dollars cannot support the attainable, workforce housing our community needs. This is where the private market has to step in and be part of the solution to fill that gap. Government cannot fix this alone. Nonprofits cannot fix this alone. The private sector cannot fix this alone—it takes everyone to be invested and working together to fix this.
There are a variety of ways to be involved in addressing the housing crisis:
If we create a whole spectrum of housing, we will make it easier for a whole spectrum of people to find a place they can live and thrive.- Shannon Nazworth, Ability Housing
As Central Florida grows, many individuals and families live $400 away from homelessness and struggle with making ends meet—living paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford safe housing, reliable transportation, and healthy food. The Economic Stability Fund, part of Thrive Central Florida, focuses on changing that trajectory and will invest in correlating solutions.
Vice President of Philanthropic Strategies and Partnerships