Founded in 1997, Broward Partnership is committed to reducing homelessness by promoting independence and self-worth through advocacy, housing, and comprehensive services. The Partnership is the largest comprehensive homeless service provider in Broward County offering street outreach, 500 beds of emergency shelter at the Central Homeless Assistance Center (CHAC) in Fort Lauderdale and North Homeless Assistance Center (NHAC) in Pompano Beach, 133 units of scattered-site permanent housing in Broward County, and a complete array of health and social services designed to help individuals and families transition out of homelessness. The Partnership has won best practices awards from the Florida Department of Children and Families and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In March 2019, Broward Partnership was awarded approximately $25 million of financing from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s (FHFC) tax credit and State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) programs to construct affordable housing. In September 2023, the Partnership and its development partner Green Mills Group officially opened the doors of Seven on Seventh – a 72-unit mixed use affordable housing development next to the CHAC. Of the 72 rental units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, half are dedicated to workforce housing for professionals such as teachers, certified nursing assistants, and others who meet low-income requirements and the other half for individuals and families who have been referred to Seven on Seventh by the Broward County Continuum of Care (CoC), a collaborative network of organizations working to alleviate homelessness. Tenants referred to Seven on Seventh by the CoC likely come from Broward Partnership’s homeless assistance programs or from other county programs that serve the homeless and at-risk populations.
Seven on Seventh includes readily available common spaces, a fitness center, interactive library, training/conference room, case management offices, and a workforce development and training hub where a diverse community of residents reside and thrive. Seven on Seventh partners with CareerSource to provide residents with new employment opportunities, and Broward College to bring residents to their Broward Up Promise Neighborhoods program, which offers a range of resources including life skills training, certificate programs, undergraduate degrees, and internship opportunities.
“It’s such an exciting project because it’s 50/50 [workforce housing vs. housing for formerly homeless],” says Broward Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer, Fran Esposito. “Seven on Seventh is also unique because, while there are definitely other affordable housing projects for low-income people, there are very few exclusive for people at 60 percent of AMI [Area Median Income] and below.” The need for housing in this sector is dire. Broward County ranks dead last in Florida for affordable housing options with only 25 affordable homes available for every 100 families at 60 percent of AMI, according to the FHFC.
Almost a third (32 percent) of renters are severely cost burdened, according to the Broward Housing Council’s statistics dashboard. To meet the county’s deficit of affordable housing options, 120,843 units would need to be made available, according to a 2019 report by the Housing Finance Authority of Broward County. Since the report the need for affordable housing has continued to grow.
Seven on Seventh’s social return on investment is estimated to have a $1.5 million positive annual economic impact for the surrounding area. By providing affordable housing for families in need, services that will improve the health and wellbeing of residents and increasing economic opportunities for residents through educational training and workforce development, Seven on Seventh and its supportive services is having a wide-range socioeconomic impact on the local community.
“Our mission at Broward Partnership always has been to reduce homelessness,” Esposito says. “Ultimately, housing is the solution to actually end homelessness.”