Open letter to Commissioner Gimenez regarding Affordable/Workforce Housing Project

The Honorable Carlos Gimenez
Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street
Suite 220
Miami, Florida 33128

June 9, 2010

Re: Government Obligation Fund (GOB) Allocation – Village West Affordable/Workforce Housing Project

Dear Commissioner Gimenez,

I would like to express my formal support of the proposed affordable housing project in Coconut Grove. After meetings with various stakeholders to discuss the plan, I now believe it is crucial that we as a community join together to back this project and allow it to go forward as soon as possible. Never before has there been such a viable, shovel-ready proposal that involves so many key community stakeholders (such as Thelma Gibson and the University of Miami). From my understanding, this proposal has been thoroughly vetted by Miami-Dade County staff and now eagerly awaits your approval.

Pinnacle Housing Group has a proven track record of completing projects within budget and on time. They are considered to be in the top fifty affordable housing developers in the country according to Affordable Housing Finance Magazine. I understand other developers also have proposals on the table but are requesting the entirety of the GOB funds available to District 7. While I appreciate the efforts of the other developers, they are currently responsible for dozens of empty properties on Grand Avenue, having displaced many of our residents without moving forward on their project. It is only fair that the GOB funds available to your office are split equally between the different proposals.

As I’m sure you are aware, the Village West has long faced severe economic hardship. Long before the rest of our community began to feel the weight of the current recession, residents of the West Grove grappled with extreme poverty, unemployment and limited access to affordable housing. Grand Avenue, the main artery to Coconut Grove’s business district, has become the symbol of the disparity and blight that plagues our community. This project would be the first step in the redesign and revitalization of Grand Avenue, making us safer by providing more lighting and security, and improving the overall health and aesthetics of our community. It would also become the home to the Gibson Community and Educational Center, giving the youth of the West Grove a safe and productive environment to grow, learn and have fun.

I sincerely hope you allow this much-needed project to move forward. The residents of the Village West are counting on you.

Best Regards,

Stephen P. Murray

Coconut Grove Village Council

The contents of this correspondence do not reflect the opinions of the Coconut Grove Village Council, the Democratic National Committee, the Florida Democratic Party, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, the Selective Service System or any elected official or organization referenced herein. All opinions are exclusively those of Stephen Murray.

Actual Letter

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  • Disclaimer

    The contents of this blog do not reflect the opinions of the Coconut Grove Village Council, the Democratic National Committee, the Florida Democratic Party, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, or any elected official or organization referenced herein.

    All opinions are exclusively those of Stephen Murray.

    All content (c) 2010 Stephen Murray

  • Credit

    Blog Layout and Design: Cassie Oswald (http://www.cassieoswald.com)

    Banner Photo Credit: Lindsay Brown for The Miami Hurricane

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