May 15, 2023 - News

Alonzo Mourning, Matt Rieger building affordable housing for seniors

A rendering of Tucker Tower. Image: Courtesy of Housing Trust Group

Matthew A. Rieger, president and CEO of Housing Trust Group, is building affordable housing for seniors alongside NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning.

Why it matters: Floridians on fixed incomes are struggling to cover skyrocketing housing costs.

  • The average Social Security check covers less than 55% of a person's average expenses in Miami-Dade County, according to one report.

Context: Mourning has founded the Overtown Youth Center, nonprofit AM Affordable Housing and other charitable initiatives.

  • Rieger's teamed up with him on seven projects in Florida, including the Courtside Apartments in Overtown, which opened in 2016.
  • "I just want to come in and help the community," Mourning told Bisnow in January. "We don't want to make a lot of money off of these projects."

Details: Their $44 million Tucker Tower project is currently under construction in West Perrine and is scheduled to open in about eight months.

  • Rents range from $457 - $1,317 for its 120 units.
  • Seniors over 62 years old who earn up to $46,740 will be eligible.

How they did it: The project was funded by a mix of loans and tax credit financing.

  • Around the country, the cost of land, labor, insurance and construction material has shot up so much that planned affordable housing projects have been canceled.
  • To help avoid that, a state emergency program helped close a $3.2 million funding gap for Tucker Tower, which broke ground in October.

What they're saying: "Naturally occurring affordable housing is pretty much non-existent in South Florida now," Rieger tells Axios.

  • "The only way to make deals pencil out is to either give renters a subsidy or subsidize the cost of development so companies like HTG can keep rents low."

What's next: HTG is also developing a 1,300-unit project in Overtown called Rainbow Village, complete with a school and park.

The bottom line: "We need something like seven million new affordable housing units in this country over the next decade —that's massive," Rieger says. "We really need an ambitious federal effort to create thousands of new units per month."

Editor's note: This story was corrected to note that Housing Trust Group is developing the Overtown project called Rainbow Village on its own (not with partners).


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