Mayor James delivered his remarks on the 51st anniversary of the Fair Housing Act which protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (April 11, 2019)--
West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James called for fair, affordable housing when delivering remarks at “A Symposium on Fair and Affordable Housing: A Basic Civil Right.” The event, held on April 11, 2019 in Manalapan, Florida, was hosted by Holy Ground PBC, which shelters and mentors homeless, pregnant and parenting young mothers and their children in Palm Beach County. The event’s keynote speaker was Avery Friedman, CNN legal correspondent and America’s best known civil rights lawyer and law professor. Of note, Mayor James delivered his remarks on the 51st
anniversary of the Fair Housing Act which protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities; additional protections apply to federally assisted housing.
“It’s so important for us to recognize that fair and affordable housing is an issue in our community that needs to be addressed,” said Mayor James. “Whether you live in Washington, D.C., West Palm Beach, or small-town Wichita, Kansas, where I was raised, it’s an issue. As a city, county, a state and nation, we want to make sure that we are creating opportunities for affordable housing. Equally important, we have to make sure that all housing is fair for all.”
“In West Palm Beach, we are working to build a community of opportunity for all. We want all of our residents to be able to lead happy, healthy fulfilling lives,” he said.
In delivering his remarks, Mayor James recalled his very first home purchase in Palm Beach County in the 1980s; “whites only” was a prerequisite—albeit an illegal one-- for the purchase of his home. The incident made a lasting impression on Mayor James, and the memory has strengthened his resolve to ensure fair, affordable housing in the City of West Palm Beach.
Mayor James also voiced support for the City’s Housing and Community Development Department and its efforts to address the issues of affordable housing and homelessness which include:
- 572 new units of affordable rental housing serving the elderly, homeless and families which have either been developed or are under development in West Palm Beach;
- At least another 51 new homes which have been constructed or are under construction that have provided affordable home ownership opportunity to families and great stability to neighborhoods;
- Dozens of other affordable rental and homeownership housing units in various stages of predevelopment that will come online in the next two years;
- Connecting the City’s homeless population to resources to ensure their basic needs are met, whether it be in housing, employment or healthcare, through:
- Homeless Peer Outreach teams funded through the Lord’s Place;
- West Palm Beach Housing Stabilization Program;
- Youth Homeless Prevention Program through VitaNova;
- Vickers House of West Palm Beach;
- Homeward Bound program;
- A full-time police officer dedicated to addressing the issue of homelessness;
- And many more outreach efforts.
“We want our residents to achieve their true potential—no matter what their background and circumstances,” said James.
For more information on the City’s efforts to create affordable housing and address the issues of homelessness, please visit: http://wpb.org/hcd
Mayor Keith James was elected in March 12, 2019. Focused on creating a community of opportunity for all, Mayor James has a vision for West Palm Beach that is resident-driven. Mayor James is committed to creating a customer friendly culture that focuses on neighborhood initiatives, regional collaboration and community partnerships. Mayor James is the City’s first African-American “strong mayor,” whereby the Mayor is the City’s Chief Executive Officer directing the administrative structure, and the City’s fourth African-American Mayor. For more information about Mayor James, please visit: https://wpb.org/About/Mayor-s-Page/Mayor-s-Bio
For more information about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: https://wpb.org/