The Northeast Florida COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan has been approved by the Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) Board of Directors.
The plan, which was developed by the Northeast Florida Economic Resilience Task Force, aims to help local governments and the private sector recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Areas of focus outlined in the report are infrastructure policies, small businesses relief and equity.
Recommendations in the plan include using federal, state and local funding to provide rental assistance and creating incentives or requirements for local developers to build dedicated affordable housing or include dedicated affordable housing units in mixed-income or mixed-use developments.
Sean Lahav, resiliency coordinator for the NEFRC, said if those and other recommendations from the report are implemented it could provide much needed relief to the many First Coast residents who are struggling to pay for housing.
“We're seeing rising mortgage costs and rent costs all across the United States, but in Northeast Florida, the housing market is exploding right now, especially with folks moving from outside the state into Florida,” he said. “Emergency rental assistance programs are definitely a helpful component through the remainder of this pandemic and these types of programs can help provide much needed relief for property owners and residents.”
Regional council staff are now in the process of working with local elected officials, business leaders and nonprofits across Northeast Florida to find ways to implement recommendations from the report over the next few months.
“This is just the beginning of a more long range process to make sure that Northeast Florida's prepared for the challenges ahead,” Lahav said.
Once the plan is implemented, the task force will expand its focus to include long-range economic resilience planning for factors like sea level rise and climate change.