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Recommendations
Miami-Dade County Infill Housing Initiative
Presented by South Florida Community Development Coalition, March 2006


Introduction:  The primary activity of Miami-Dade County's Infill Housing Initiative is to convey tax foreclosed building lots to developrs willing to construct and sell affordable housing units (CLICK HERE to get more background).  The Coalition thinks that the program can be expanded and improved.  Here are the Coalition's 2006 recommendations.
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1.  Pre-designed and pre-permitted building plans
2.  Resolve Lot Size Issues Prior to Giving Parcel to Developer The County should obtain all required zoning variances BEFORE lots are deeded to the developers,
3.   Resolve all DERM and WASA issues prior to the County deeding parcels to a developer.

4.   Comprehensive inventory of all vacant lots in distressed neighborhoods - The inventory should include both county owned and privately held parcels. The information should be posted on the web (with the folio number, address, owner, aerial photo, back taxes owed, zoning, code violations, etc).

5.   Collaborate to acquire vacant lots -   County government should create a mechanism for mixing public dollars with private capital to facilitate the acquisition of vacant lots that located in distressed neighborhoods.
6.   Improved Lien Clearance Assistance Many would-be developers of affordable housing acquire parcels by way of tax deeds. Code violation liens, however, are not eliminated by the issuance of a tax deed. In many cases the monetary payoff amounts are huge. Creating affordable housing on such lots is often not economically feasible without lien clearance assistance from local government. The procedures of the Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) for assisting developers needs to be improved. 7. Foreclosure of Code Violation Liens The County could acquire ownership of many of the vacant lots in distressed neighborhoods that are currently infested with code violation citations. The County could institute an aggressive policy of converting these citations into recorded liens and then instituting judicial foreclosure procedures. This strategy could result in a number of possible positive outcomes: (a) it might encourage owners of vacant lots to keep them clear or to pay fines in a timely manner, (b) it might generate income for the County which could be dedicated to infill housing, (c) it would put a number of currently nonproductive vacant parcels into the hands of new owners who would do something with them, or (d) it would result in the County acquiring ownership of certain parcels.

8.   Amend State Law to Make it Easier for County to Acquire Tax Delinquent Parcels Current law should be amended to by-pass the current tax certificate procedures by allowing the County to "cherry pick" selected tax delinquent parcels located in designated distressed neighborhoods (that is, no certificates would be issued for these parcels and title would go directly to the County after the specified period of time - this is the procedure used in a number of other states). 9.   Create written policy manual for the Infill Housing Initiative

9.   Create better mechanism to preserve affordability for the lots conveyed to developers under Infill Housing Initiative.