New committee to address generational poverty in Tallahassee


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It’s called Prosperity Leon. It’s a new initiative aimed at improving financial literacy, under-resourced schools, and affordable housing.

“It is a growing issue in Tallahassee,” said Ashon Nesbitt with the Florida Housing Coalition.

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce is trying to increase access to affordable housing. They’re teaming up with nonprofits like the Florida Housing Coalition to make it happen.

“It’s not only impacting certain neighborhoods, it’s impacting our entire city,” said Sha’Ron James.

James is the Chair of the new TalChamber Community and Prosperity committee. The goal of the committee is to find the right solutions to reduce poverty. To do it, they plan to work with community stakeholders and businesses to create housing stability and make generational wealth a possibility for future families.

“Most people develop wealth through homeownership,” posited James.

In addition to helping people buy, another collaborative goal is to reduce cost-burden.

Ashon Nesbitt is the Chief Programs Officer of the Housing Coalition and says, “You’re talking about a household that’s making $40,000-$45,000 which some of us would not consider that to be poor by any sense, these are definitely working people in jobs that may even require college degrees, but these folks are really impacted quite a bit by the cost of housing and are the most impacted in our community.”

At least 25% of all Floridians are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. That’s something they want to change with this new initiative going forward.

“Whether it’s workforce housing for nurses, or teachers, or first responders, to Section 8 Housing, multi-family, to just again a young family needing a safe place to call their own, it runs the gamut,” added James.

They hope to reduce the number of cost-burdened households in the community to under 10% by 2030.