HLC’s Mission and Vision

Vision Statement

Housing for all of Palm Beach County’s residents that is financially feasible and sustainable.

Mission Statement

The Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County is a coalition of Community Leaders working to sustain the economic viability of the County by supporting housing opportunities for all residents through education, advocacy, and facilitating partnerships.


We Are Dedicated to Eliminating Cost-burdened Housing

Palm Beach County is at a crossroads with housing options. Without units that people can afford, our economic growth will slow. When employees who earn minimum wage or close to it are cost-burdened by their rents or mortgage, they cannot thrive. They will look for better housing options in other communities and leave Palm Beach County without workers to staff restaurants, retail operations, manufacturing, and service jobs. Our County will experience escalating homelessness and the need for social supports.

This is where HLC works for the good of everyone in Palm Beach County while focusing on  residents whose income is $50,000 per year or lower. Over 80 percent of the households we target are in the low or moderate wage category.

As part of the Housing Plan for All, we do the following:

  1. Identify financing. A $200 million proposed bond issue could provide financing and incentives to encourage and require developers to create more affordable housing units and put restrictions on keeping the units affordable from 15 -30 years or in perpetuity, depending on the subsidy level.
  2. Influence planning and regulatory reform.  Advocating with our government partners, we will help simplify the processes for and remove barriers to funding for affordable housing units. Developers will build it if we make it easier. We can walk them through the processes to a successful ending.
  3. Revitalize awesome neighborhoods.  Palm Beach County has beautiful historic neighborhoods.  We are trying to get grants so that residents can afford to live in revitalized and/or up-and-coming neighborhoods.
  4. Promote racial equity.  We want to ensure that residents of  historically Black and Hispanic neighborhoods have the same opportunities as all residents to access affordable housing. A racial equity study is in process to find out what minority populations need to live in a home or rental unit.  This will be a primary focus of our work going forward.

HLC is the only entity in Palm Beach County that is taking a high-level, community-wide look at  affordable housing.  We can examine the problem at all angles and pay attention to the things that developers might avoid, and nonprofits have limited capacity to address.

We do studies and surveys of micro and macro groups in the county; we attend town, city, and county council meetings; we advocate for affordable housing at the state level; we bring groups together to learn about the issues;  we push for reform in every way that we can; we walk developers through the process of applying for funding for affordable housing; and we raise money through grants, individual support and event to move our work forward.

The Problems We Solve

HLC’s single focus is on housing that people can afford and sustain. Our work focuses on giving individuals and families the opportunity to live, work, and positively contribute to the economy. People should not have to pay more than 30% of their income on housing. Without affordable housing, families lose ground. Allocating an unbalanced amount of their monthly income to housing, can cause families to cut back in other areas of basic needs.  They can fall into poverty.  When children do not have access to adequate food or housing, they can get behind in school, drop out, and fail to progress. Domestic abuse escalates when stress in the home increases, and families can even become forced out of their homes when rents increase.

One might argue that being able to afford a place to live keeps individuals and families whole and healthy.  They are less dependent on social supports and can thrive in society. Everyone deserves that opportunity.

Unfortunately, our county has struggled to keep up with the demand for housing units.  A needs assessment done in 2020 showed that since 2010, Palm Beach County has experienced a deficit of 2,000 affordable housing units per year. As of 2020, over 20,000 are missing from our community. 

Part of this issue has been caused by a historic focus on home ownership which dissuaded developers from building affordable rental properties. Another issue is trust. Developers will build affordable units if they have incentives and can be assured that the density of their projects will be approved.

Palm Beach County is a desirable place to live.  Our weather, beaches, culture, etc. has encouraged redevelopment to the area.  Especially in the last five years, our county’s growth had accelerated. Business is booming. Corporations are moving operations to Palm Beach County. While we celebrate this growth, we know that lower and mid-level employees struggle to find an\ adequate places to live.

The Palm Beach County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment from 2020 revealed a significant gap in what residents say the can afford for home ownership and rent vs. what the average homes and rents cost.  The charts below show the discrepancies.

We hear stories all the time.

  • A 50-year-old school bus driver who has two roommates to afford a place to live. 
  • A 35-year-old Walgreen’s employee who lives at home because he cannot find a decent place to live.
  • A 22-year-old school teacher who lived out of her car for months because she couldn’t afford a rental in Palm Beach County. 
  • A family displaced from their home because their rents were increased.
  • An excited couple turning down great jobs in Palm Beach County because they simply could not find a home or an apartment they could afford.