January 2020
Riviera Beach Housing Authority

The Grand Opening was Wonderful!
The official opening of Heron Estates Senior on the 15-acre site of the former Ivey Green Village public housing complex happened on a cold and windy day, but it was a success! Current and former RBHA Board Commissioners, elected and government officials from the federal, state, county and municipal levels, development and construction partners and, wonderfully, many of the new current residents--all were there for the official opening last week of the 101-unit development for senior citizens. We thank everyone for their support, including, in particular, our co-development partner, Housing Trust Group of Florida (HTG). They made it happen ! Watch a news video, below, and click here to read a news article.
Check it Out!
The program was led by Scott Osman, chief operating officer of HTG, RBHA Executive Director John W. Hurt and Board Chairman Jeffery B. Jackson. More than 70 people attended. The vibe was super positive.
Out Front: The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
A few of the awardees: people who supported the project. No matter what.
And, the biggest thumbs up: to Mr. Osman and the seniors who live in the building his team built.
Creating Affordable Housing has Changed...
Used to be, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded nearly everything in a public housing complex, but, no more. Now, multiple government funding sources are required, as are public-private partnerships, bond floats, lots . That's why, earlier this month, Board members and Executive Director John W. Hurt met with a few potential private partners from New York. The meeting was held at the offices of the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (RBCRA), another potential partner, with discussions centering on what the RBHA wants to do, what the visitors could provide, and how to make it all work. The men came at the invite of Commissioner Glen Spiritis, who had worked with them over decades back in his home state. City Councilman Douglas L. Lawson, a licensed Realtor, was there, as was Annetta Jenkins, the RBCRA's Director of Neighborhood Services, who oversees a RBCRA nonprofit that builds for first-time home buyers. Next step? Stay tuned!
...and Not in a Good Way. Just Ask Developers
According to the Washington-based National Association of Home Builders, land scarcity and high costs are making it difficult to build affordable housing for sale too--particularly in areas that are seeing population and job growth and really need it. Like Palm Beach County. What does the trade association say is needed? Government support. Current land use and zoning policies in many communities make it too costly to build affordable housing for rent and purchase. That's an area the RBHA is working on as well. "That is our hope," said Executive Director John W. Hurt, "to create homeowners. Not just renters."
Did You Know...
...that the Ivey Green Village public housing complex was named for these two men? When it was constructed back in 1976, W. Ivey Mack, left, and John Green were both members of the RBHA Board of Commissioners. And because the federal agency had no developments in the city at the time, there was no executive director, so the volunteer board "did all the work," said Mr. Green, a longtime housing advocate who's worked in that capacity for Palm Beach County and Riviera Beach, from which he retired in 2012 as the housing and community development coordinator. He and Mr. Mack, who had been a longtime educator and assistant church pastor when he died in 2005, worked hard to design the project--and the Board named it for them. And, even though Ivey Green was demolished between 2005 and 2008 due to hurricane damage, those names will live on: the current Board has decided to create a museum of sorts within the new Heron Estates Senior, so as to remember Ivey and Green. (Another name to recall on that early Board? The Rev. A.C. Evans, former longtime pastor of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Riviera Beach.)
Phase 2 is Coming
Now that Phase 1, Heron Estates Senior, is complete, we'll now focus on Phase 2, Heron Estates Family. The 79 units of townhouse-style family workforce housing is scheduled to start construction this summer. Once again, we will partner with Housing Trust Group of Florida (HTG) and Gulf Building, but we will also be seeking Section 3 subcontractors--local, minority- and female-owned--to bid on the work. Check our website to stay aware.
About the RBHA
Former Commissioner Rodney R. Roberts
Current Commissioner Glen L. Spiritis
Current Commissioner Horace L. Towns
Former Commissioner Lynne L. Hubbard
Current Vice Chairwoman Jessica Thurmond
Much of the current team. At the end.
Read Our Other Newsletters

Got a question? Send it here .
RBHA Board of Commissioners