Can Mixed-Income Multi Family really work?

Apartments pictured are stock photo


Some are still questioning if mixed-income multifamily communities can really work. But Keith Poliakoff, who co-chairs Arnstein & Lehr’s Government Relations Practice Group in Fort Lauderdale, knows they can.

Poliakoff worked with the developers of Pinnacle at Tarpon River, a $32 million, 12-unit mixed-income and mixed-used development in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. One hundred units are designated for qualified affordable housing residents and 12 units are market rate rentals. This year, you secured city approval for the first mixed-income residential development in the City of Fort Lauderdale. What challenges did you have to overcome to get this innovative project completed?   

Poliakoff: I think some still questioned whether or not mixed-income communities would work. Through innovative designs, and making the units almost indistinguishable, I think we have proven to the City of Fort Lauderdale, and others, that mixed income communities will play an important role in the future development of all rental communities.

The affordable residents love the fact that no one knows who lives in an affordable or market rate unit. And those in the market rate units love the stringent background checks, and zero tolerance policies that are not found in most market rate rental communities. How has the marketplace responded to having workforce housing and market-rate rental units in a same building? Are the units renting as expected? 

Poliakoff: In my most recent mixed-income community the entire building, all 112 units, rented within 90 days. In addition, we have a substantial waiting list if and when any vacancy occurs. As such, the market has proven that this building product can easily be a success.

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