What is Connect Capital Miami - Frequently Asked Questions English

What is Connect Capital? Connect Capital is a two-year initiative of the Center for Community Investment (CCI) that assists communities to attract and deploy capital at scale to improve residents’ health and increase their access to opportunity. Working with six communities, Connect Capital helps participating teams establish shared priorities across stakeholders, create pipelines of deals and projects that can be pushed forward in batches, and strengthen the policies and practices required to achieve the desired outcomes. Connect Capital provides each team with a suite of supports including customized coaching, facilitated peer learning, and a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to fund a “team coordinator,” a local staff position dedicated to advancing the team’s work. The Connect Capital framework is a three-step process involving the establishment of an aggressive goal, identification of a pipeline to meet it and consideration of the ‘enabling environment’ or those policies and regulations that might need to be modified to help meet the goal.

The focus of Connect Capital Miami’s work is to determine how to leverage municipal financing to increase production of affordable housing units.

Who is on the Connect Capital Miami team? The Miami Connect Capital travel team consists of City of Miami staff representing the Department of Housing and Community Development and Planning and Zoning, a non-profit community land trust, a non-profit housing advocacy organization, and a for-profit real estate developer.  The larger home team includes broader representation from city government, for-profit and non-profit developers, advocacy organizations, and financial and anchor institutions.

Why Connect Capital Miami?  Miami is booming and among the fastest growing cities in the nation. However, the data indicates that the benefits of growth have not been equitable. As population increases, so too do housing costs, producing a significant shortage of affordable housing. The Miami metro area has the highest percentage in the country of working households spending more than half their income on housing costs. Compounding demand for affordable housing is the city’s high poverty rate – roughly 25 percent of Miami residents live in poverty, as compared to 15 percent nationally. Recently, the City of Miami authorized a $100 million bond to significantly increase the availability of affordable housing. The Connect Capital Miami team is working to leverage that bond, in addition to other potential financing streams, to develop and preserve homes for thousands of residents in communities that are accessible to jobs, transit, and are consistent with residents’ resiliency goals.

When did the Connect Capital Miami Initiative begin? The City of Miami’s Department of Housing and Community Development applied to participate in Phase I of the Connect Capital initiative in early 2018. The City of Miami put together a multi-disciplinary team of individuals from the government, academia, banking, real estate development, and community advocacy sectors to collectively think through the best way to positively affect Miami’s affordable housing crisis. In March of 2018, team representatives travelled to a Connect Capital Workshop in Chicago where they arrived at an initial aggressive goal of preserving or building 10,000 units of affordable housing in five years.

In April of 2018, CCI announced a partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Six different teams from around the country, including Miami, were chosen for grant funding that would allow each team to further pursue their established goals. Each team is tasked with identifying and prioritizing (1) a pipeline of development projects and (2) local policies or regulations that will help each team arrive at their goal. On July 2nd, 2018, the City of Miami hired its team coordinator.

On July 11th, 2018, Miami Homes For All and the City of Miami coordinated a workshop to vet the goal created in Chicago. The goal was increased to the creation and/or preservation of 12,000 affordable housing units by 2024.

Where is Connect Capital Miami taking place? Connect Capital Miami is focused on getting the City of Miami to its goal of 12,000 units within 5 years. The affordable housing crisis is of course an issue impacting all of Miami-Dade County – the City of Miami being only one of 34 municipalities within it. However, there is no one size fits all solution and for now the City of Miami will prioritize how to best address the housing needs of its residents. The City of Miami has also contracted the FIU Metropolitan Center to create an Affordable Housing Master Plan that will first analyze the City of Miami’s housing needs and then outline specific, data-driven strategies that will help the City of Miami address its housing affordability needs.

Note: Miami Homes for All, a housing advocacy group, is working separately with Miami-Dade County and the FIU Metropolitan Center to produce a county-wide Affordable Housing Blueprint.

Next Steps Over the course of the next year, the City of Miami will hold technical workshops to identify a proposed development pipeline for new units and prioritize policies and regulations that will need to be modified or created to meet the goal. The FIU Metropolitan Center will draft the Affordable Housing Master Plan based on a review of existing data and best practices in affordable housing that are locally viable. The City of Miami will begin to hold public engagement meetings this fall and throughout the beginning of 2019 to provide clarity and solicit feedback from residents.

Additional Questions?

Please feel free to e-mail us at connectcapital@miamigov.com or call us at (305) 414-1768 with any questions.