Gainesville City Commission puts GNV Rise affordable housing plan on hold

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - UPDATE: A program designed to provide more affordable housing in Gainesville has been put on hold.

Hundreds of people came to a city commission meeting last night to speak out against the GNV Rise proposal. At the heart of the conflict was an aspect of the plan that many say financially benefits developers, but not Gainesville itself. Residents also raised concerns that the GNV Rise affordable housing plan could lead to gentrification and displacement in Gainesville's historically black neighborhoods.

After a meeting that continued late into the night, commissioners decided not to move forward with the proposal. They'll now look at possible changes to the GNV Rise plan, along with other affordable housing possibilities.

A program designed to provide more opportunities for affordable housing in North Central Florida has some residents scratching their heads.

On Thursday night, the Gainesville City Commission discussed whether they wanted to move forward with the highly disputed plan.

The concept is called “GNV Rise” a proposed incentive-based program to encourage affordable housing development.

Hundreds of residents packed the city commission meeting. Most were in opposition of the GNV Rise Program.

This option would let developers come into the city and subdivide a parcel of land.

If that process is approved by the city, developers could get a 20% density bonus.

If the developer takes the incentive, they would have to make sure at least 10% of the new homes or apartments will be at an affordable rate.

Before that program can be implemented, the city commission would have to amend to the city's comprehensive plan.

The distinction between the program and the amendment puzzled some residents.

Supporters of the program say it would give the city the chance to try something new to provide its residents with more housing options.

With several residents visibly and audibly upset about the proposed program, Mayor Lauren Poe kept order in the auditorium by giving residents the option to use "spirit fingers" instead of clapping causing interruptions.