May 202016
 
Peary Court: Affordable Housing Deal Goes Through / Units Can Legally Rent For $2709/Month

by Arnaud and Naja Girard…… This must be an all time record for how fast a small City like Key West can vet, vote, and authorize payment on a 12.5 million dollar deal. In just 2 weeks time the City dispatched 12.5 million dollars to a private company that will provide affordable housing [for up to $2709/month] for rent-burdened Key West workers. The last leg of this race to closing played out this week: the County’s Land Authority pledged the entire City reserve plus $300,000 [continue reading…]

Apr 292016
 
Peary Court: Plan B

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. After 58% of voters rejected the purchase of Peary Court six weeks ago, some City Commissioners have a new plan: give the City’s affordable housing funds to a private company that wants to buy the entire former Navy housing complex on White Street for 60 million dollars. The City would pay the buyer 12.5 million. In exchange, the buyer would deed restrict the 157 existing units and any other units constructed on the 24 plus acre property for use as [continue reading…]

Mar 142016
 
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: PEARY COURT / VOTE NO - THE CHOICE IS OBVIOUS

by Christine Russel……. PEARY COURT:  VOTE NO – THE CHOICE IS OBVIOUS SO THE CITY WANTS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT “AFFORDABLE WORKFORCE HOUSING?” CHOICE A:  VOTE YES: BUY PEARY COURT:  157 UNITS FACT:  Peary Court’s 157 2-bedroom / 1 bathroom units will cost $350,000 each. 157 units that will rent for $2400 a month – affordable for workers who earn the highest salaries. Result: Empty the Land Authority account of 10 Million. Risky 30-year mortgage FOR the remaining balance on $55 MILLION purchase price. If all [continue reading…]

 March 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:07 pm News 5 Responses »
Mar 112016
 
Peary Court Purchase:  Speculators Win; Key West Loses

Commentary by Dr. Martha K. Huggins……. Key West, an island seven miles long with 7.4 square miles of land mass, is saddled with almost $107 million dollars of long-term debt.   City Commissioners have asked voters to approve yet another $55 million dollars in debt. Their appeal is couched in humanitarian concern for low-paid workers who need “affordable” housing, Ironically, such workers are often employees of the very City Commissioners who want KW government to subsidize housing for their exploited employees. Key West needs affordable housing, [continue reading…]

 March 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am News 14 Responses »
Mar 112016
 
Commissioner Romero Shares More Information about Peary Court Property

by City Commissioner Margaret Romero……. This note is to update you on recent information I obtained after meetings with Management teams at Keys Energy and Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority regarding Peary Court and the City’s possible exposures and unknown costs. KEYS ENERGY Easement for transmission poles along Palm Ave which sit inside the Peary Court perimeter have yet to be transferred from the current owners to Keys Energy. o   KEYS has an agreement for the owners to do this – but the owners have yet [continue reading…]

 March 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am Island Voices, Issue #157 2 Responses »
Mar 112016
 
PEARY COURT: It's Just Another Development

by Harry Powell, It’s just another development for Pete’s sake, so nothing special or what we really need. It’s not a “good deal. ” Commissioner Romero is correct. The resolution earmarking “profits to an affordable housing trust fund” is clearly a marketing ploy to convince the voters that “this is a good deal.” Some City officials are asking us to worship this sacred cow of Peary Court “in the name of affordable housing.” It’s not what we need to buy. There is likely going to [continue reading…]

Mar 042016
 
OPINION: Vote "No" on Peary Court Purchase

by Diane Beruldsen……. I attended recent  affordable housing workshops and felt there were many people who were not getting listened to. The meetings scaled over concerns that the group being protected (those who can afford to pay $2400/month in rent) were the wrong group to protect. For this reason, I wanted to hear the opinions of people in the streets of City of Key West. I set out Sunday, February 28th on bicycle, into Key West and approached anyone I came across to ask if they had an [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am ~ Opinion ~, Island Voices, Issue #156 21 Responses »
Feb 262016
 
The Peary Court Referendum: 'It is Impossible to Reach Good Conclusions with Bad Information'

by Commissioner Margaret Romero…….. I will vote “NO” on both referendums concerning Peary Court. I am not convinced there is a good solid business case for such a purchase. I do not find such a purchase in the best interests of our community as a whole. Over 200 financial institutions were made aware of our request for financing of the property, only 1 responded. That response was a conditional response which did not meet the specified requirements. That alone indicates a reason to question this [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am ~ Column ~, Editorial 6 Responses »