$200 million. 20,000 affordable homes. A new plan emerges for housing in Palm Beach County.

Amid a surge of new luxury properties being developed, Palm Beach County is considering multiple proposals to even the playing field and create more affordable housing for people who can’t pay millions for new homes.

On Tuesday, Palm Beach County commissioners gave preliminary approval on a potential $200 million bond item in November’s election dedicated toward building more affordable housing units throughout the county. If approved, the funds would be allocated toward creating approximately 20,000 units over the next decade.

Details are still being formulated regarding the total number of units, pricing, where they would be built and when they would be available.

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“Renters are being crushed right now,” Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said. “There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t see somebody posting something on social media about their rent increases.”

The need for affordable housing comes as thousands of new luxury properties are being developed across the county. In West Boca, luxury homebuilder GL Homes has plans for more than 1,900 houses, which could generate billions of dollars in sales. More than 520 homes will soon be built on a 189-acre golf course by Glades Road and Florida’s Turnpike and are being priced between $1.3 million and $2.5 million.

In Delray Beach, numerous luxury properties are in development, including a 14-home gated community with pre-construction prices beginning at $3.25 million and a proposed cluster of 31 townhomes with prices hovering above $2 million each.

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In addition to the housing bond, a separate $150 million bond for water quality is also being considered for the next election as well.

The bond issues, which are being considered separately, would each need to receive at least one more approval from county commissioners before being placed on the ballot for November’s general election. From there, the bonds would need to receive more than 50% approval from voters to go into effect.

Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth was against the bond issue, saying he thought it would be too costly for taxpayers.

“I’m still not moved,” Weinroth said regarding the discussion. “We have people who are barely hanging on, and we’re going to look to tax them even more to try and address a problem, which I think is there but I don’t see that we’re going to make a real dent in this.”

Additionally, the county is considering a proposal to allow increased density for workforce housing in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve, the 21,000-acre farming region west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on that issue in May.

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