After 15 years of planning, Delray Beach celebrates the unveiling of Island Cove affordable housing complex

Introduction Delray Beach recently celebrated the long-awaited unveiling of Island Cove, a remarkable affordable housing community that has been in the works for 15 years. Located at 900 S.W. 12th Ave., this development brings a...

Introduction

Delray Beach recently celebrated the long-awaited unveiling of Island Cove, a remarkable affordable housing community that has been in the works for 15 years. Located at 900 S.W. 12th Ave., this development brings a total of 60 new apartments to the city, providing much-needed affordable housing options for residents. Let's dive into the details of this incredible project that has finally come to fruition.

President of the Delray Beach Housing Authority Shirley Erazo at the ribbon cutting for the Island Cove Apartments at 900 S.W. 12th Ave. in Delray Beach on Jan. 17, 2024. President of the Delray Beach Housing Authority Shirley Erazo at the ribbon cutting for the Island Cove Apartments at 900 S.W. 12th Ave. in Delray Beach on Jan. 17, 2024.

A Blueprint of Possibility

Island Cove is the culmination of a collective effort that transcended differences and showcased what can be achieved when a community comes together. Shirley Erazo, President and CEO of the Delray Beach Housing Authority, expressed her gratitude and belief in the power of collaboration during the project's Jan. 17 ribbon-cutting ceremony: "We built a blueprint here, folks, of what is possible when we all come together and put aside our differences."

Adapting to Changing Times

Initially, the plan was to construct 54 townhomes on the 3-acre lot, with each unit priced at around $300,000. However, in light of the pandemic, the city's housing authority made the decision to convert the project into affordable rental units, meeting the evolving needs of the community.

Leasing for the Island Cove Apartments at 900 S.W. 12th Ave. in Delray Beach started in summer 2023. Within months, all 60 units were filled. Leasing for the Island Cove Apartments at 900 S.W. 12th Ave. in Delray Beach started in summer 2023. Within months, all 60 units were filled.

Affordable Living at Its Best

For residents like Marilyn Simpkins, Island Cove has provided a new lease on life. Previously residing in West Palm Beach and paying $1,700 per month, Simpkins found it challenging to make ends meet while caring for her paralyzed son. Now, with a monthly rent of only $535 at Island Cove, the stress of financial burden has been lifted, allowing her to enjoy a peaceful and affordable home.

The current rental rates for Island Cove Apartments start at $1,449 for a two-bedroom unit and $1,674 for a three-bedroom unit. However, these rates are subject to change based on tenants' income, ensuring that affordability remains a priority.

President of the Delray Beach Housing Authority Shirley Erazo stands with new residents of Island Cove Apartments at 900 S.W. 12th Ave. in Delray Beach. President of the Delray Beach Housing Authority Shirley Erazo stands with new residents of Island Cove Apartments at 900 S.W. 12th Ave. in Delray Beach.

Addressing a Growing Need

The creation of Island Cove comes at a crucial time when affordable housing is desperately needed. According to the 2021 U.S. census, 83% of households in Delray Beach earning less than $35,000 a year spend more than half of their income on rent. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for more affordable housing options in the city.

Comfortable and Modern Living

Island Cove offers residents a range of amenities, including an outdoor courtyard, community clubhouse, pool, gym, children's playground, and a basketball court. These facilities enhance the quality of life for residents, providing opportunities for leisure and community engagement.

Among some of the Island Cove amenities are an outdoor courtyard, community clubhouse, pool, gym, a children’s playground, and a basketball court. Among some of the Island Cove amenities are an outdoor courtyard, community clubhouse, pool, gym, a children’s playground, and a basketball court.

A Collaboration for Success

Achieving this remarkable project required the partnership of various entities. The Delray Beach Housing Authority collaborated with the city's Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the real estate development firm Smith & Henzy Group to bring Island Cove to life. The CRA provided a local government contribution of $1 million, which played a pivotal role in covering construction and infrastructure costs.

A Catalyst for Change

Island Cove represents not only a successful affordable housing endeavor but also a catalyst for future developments in Palm Beach County. As Shirley Erazo expressed, "We want this momentum to keep going. Palm Beach County needs affordable housing. We need to be the catalyst to build affordable housing."

Conclusion

Island Cove's long-awaited unveiling is a cause for celebration in Delray Beach. This affordable housing complex stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and determination to address the growing need for affordable housing. With its modern amenities and reasonable rental rates, Island Cove provides a sense of security and financial relief for its residents. Let us celebrate this remarkable achievement and recognize the continued importance of affordable housing initiatives.

Author: Jasmine Fernández

1