A collection of 60 affordable units are heading to Delray Beach this summer, as many residents face rent hikes they can’t afford.

The set of five two-story buildings, called Island Cove, sits on three acres and is expected to add some relief to a rental market that hasn’t slowed down.

“With the rental hikes the community is experiencing, it’s very much needed. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what we need,” said Shirley Erazo, the CEO of the Delray Beach Housing Authority, a non-profit that aims to provide safe and quality affordable housing in the city.

The complex received its site plan approval from the city in February, and its construction permits are under review with the city, with approval hoping to happen in the next month or so, Erazo said.

Groundbreaking should happen in the summer, said Erazo.

The development will have 40 two-bedroom units and 20 three-bedroom units. Units prices will be set at a rate that is affordable to the area median income of each level. Rents for the most part should range between $1,200-$1,600, depending on the unit.

  • nine units will be priced affordably for those who make 30% of the area median income
  • 33 units will be priced affordably for those who make 60% of the area median income
  • nine units will be priced affordably for those who make 70% of the area median income
  • nine units will be priced affordably for those who make 80% of the area median income

Some of the units will be set aside for local teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers and EMTs.

Rents have risen in Delray Beach by over 30% over the past year, with the median rent for a two-bedroom reaching $2,517, according to data from Zumper.

The complex will have a clubhouse, pool, gym and a children’s playground, among other amenities.

The land, which is currently vacant, is located between SW 8th Street and SW 10th street and SW 12th Ave and SW 13th Ave.

The apartment complex is part of the phase III of Village Square, which has taken more than a decade to develop due to rising building costs that made affordable housing more difficult to produce.

In 2019, the housing authority made plans to develop 54 townhomes to allow for more density on the parcel of land, but scrapped it as building costs rose.

Local developer Smith and Henzy Advisory Group will be building the units in a partnership with the Delray Beach Housing Authority and the Delray Housing Group. Funding from the project comes from a few sources, including a 4% Housing Tax Credit, money from the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, along with some bonds.