Ben Carson in Miami to break ground on ‘opportunity zone’ affordable housing

The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development held an event in Miami-Dade County and will also break ground on another project in the city of Miami.

MIAMI – Ben Carson is in South Florida on Thursday, where the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is breaking ground on new affordable housing opportunities in Miami.

Thursday morning he joined Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to kick off development at a site located at NW 28th Street and 18th Avenue in Miami-Dade County.

It’s touted as one of the largest opportunity zone funded projects in the country and, according to Carson, “adds 248 affordable workforce housing units for a total of 383 units altogether.”

$92.6 million is being invested in this Miami-Dade project, a lot of cash flowing through what is considered a distressed area in the county.

While so-called opportunity zones headed by the Trump administration have helped some low-income community projects, a recent study by the Urban Institute found these zones are falling short on their promise.

The study found that the money is flowing towards already developed areas rather than minority-owned businesses and communities.

“They are working extremely well,” Carson said. “And look at the best practices report. It talks about incredible things that are going on, not only in Miami-Dade but across the nation.”

Gimenez says this project will offer housing for around $200 dollars a month in rent, giving those who qualify housing they need and opportunities to build around.

“If it weren’t for tax-credit financing, a lot of what you’re seeing today and in the past for low-income housing and public housing, etcetera, wouldn’t get done,” Gimenez said. “And so I think that this is a great program, and I think it’s going to have great results.”

The project in northwest Miami-Dade is expected to take about a year and a half to finish.

Carson is also meeting with City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to break ground on another opportunity zone project.