VENICE, FL (May 12, 2022) – Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) would like to thank the Sarasota County Commission and Sarasota County staff for their commitment to alleviating our current housing crisis. Gulf Coast recently joined Sarasota community agencies on a statewide webinar hosted by the Florida Housing Coalition to share best practices and local government comparisons on American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding efforts. Sarasota County was highlighted as the second local government in the state with the highest percent of ARPA funding allocated to support affordable housing.
The Sarasota County Commission’s approval of $25 million in ARPA funds aligned directly with the Florida Housing Coalition’s best practices. The top three recommendations that validate what our Sarasota County Commission approved are shovel-ready projects that were delayed due to increased costs, labor, or material shortages due to COVID-19, land acquisition for affordable housing, and development costs to produce permanently affordable units. The webinar stated that the best use of ARPA funds was for “bricks and mortar,” “long-term affordable” capital housing projects, again precisely what the County Commission adopted.
The bold and community-supportive decisions made by the Sarasota County Commission, and supported by the Gulf Coast led affordable housing advocate group, were validated by this webinar. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the county commission’s strong leadership on helping to alleviate our housing crisis. These findings confirm that our commissioners took the right steps in moving forward to break through this issue,” said Jon Thaxton, Senior Vice President of Community Leadership at Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
It is because of the leadership of the Sarasota County Commission that we were recognized in the Florida Housing Coalition’s statewide webinar as the second local government in the state with the highest percent of ARPA funding allocated to support affordable housing. Collaboration and community are key to Gulf Coast’s vision of thriving communities with opportunities for all. Gulf Coast looks forward to continuing to work with the county as their efforts move forward.
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
For more than 25 years, together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, we have become the philanthropic home of over 950 families, individuals, businesses, and organizations that have established charitable funds here. Together, we have invested over $460 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.