Written by Miami Today on June 30, 2011
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TEAR DOWN, BUILD UP: To make room for 400 affordable public housing units, the Miami-Dade County Commission on June 21 authorized the $1 million demolition of the Scott Homes Public Housing Development, bounded by the Florida East Coast Railway, Northwest 22nd Avenue, Northwest 71st Street and Northwest 23rd Court. In 1999 the county got $35 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to demolish the units, according to county documents. The first phase of the project wrapped up in 2008 when Habitat for Humanity finished building 57 single-family homes. In early 2010 national developer McCormack, Baron, Salazar Inc. began work on phase two, which includes construction of 354 mixed-income rental units.
HOPEFUL HOUSING: In an effort to keep Miami-Dade residents in affordable homes, the county commission on June 21 urged Congress to refrain from reducing funding to housing programs throughout fiscal 2011-2012. According to county documents, Housing and Urban Development programs have supported 1.6 million first-time homebuyers under the Federal Housing Agency and 1.8 million people with disabilities through housing vouchers, programs and initiatives.
FROZEN FOR REAL: After Miami Commissioners were told that 200 employees may have been hired by the city — many of whom were temporary summer workers — since it instituted a hiring freeze in May 2009, new City Manager Johnny Martinez shared his plans to ensure only crucial hires are allowed. Any vacancies are to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with department heads, he said. "They have to prove it’s an essential position," Mr. Martinez said. If an existing staffer is promoted to fill a vacancy, he added, the person’s former position will be vacated and the employee will be required to earn less than the position paid in the past.
1700 BISCAYNE: Miami commissioners have OK’d changes to James Goldstein’s 1700 Biscayne Boulevard project that include adding a third, 431,014-square-foot tower to the mixed-use development. The addition is to include 153 residential units, 216 hotel rooms and 100,051 square feet of office space. Other changes include increasing total parking spaces from 1,369 to 1,507, upping retail space from 140,281 square feet to 181,183 and changing lobby space from 3,734 square feet to 4,638.
CURBING OUR ENTHUSIASM: This month marks the anniversary of Miami-Dade’s single-stream curbside recycling program. In the program’s three years the county has doubled the amount of items collected and recycled into new products — in all, 170,067 tons of recyclable materials.
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