Residents engage in intense conversation about affordable housing with Panama City Commission

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — There was intense discussion during Tuesday morning’s Panama City Commission meeting. 

Panama City residents often say there is not enough affordable housing, but at the meeting, the complaint wasn’t about wanting more, but instead the design.

Residents are questioning three new affordable homes under construction on Wilson Avenue in Glenwood.

Residents say they’re too small, too expensive, and bad quality.

They demanded answers from city officials.

Mayor Greg Brudnicki said the city is not in control of this project.

“We’ll talk off-camera and we’ll find out who the developer is, maybe you and me will go see them,” Brudnicki said.

Resident Walter Henry responded, “That will be fine.”

“Let’s go see them, I’ll make it work,” Brudnicki said.

“Anytime you’d like to, call me,” Henry said.

Mayor Brudnicki said a private developer is responsible for the project.

Residents like Tony Bostick weren’t pleased with the response.

“The city commission approved those buildings down there and you knew it wasn’t going to be good,” Bostick said.

We reached out to city officials to see their involvement in the project and they said there is no connection. All they do is review the development order and check to make sure it meets city code. 

Cypress Community Development Corporation is the developer. 

Marianne Cusato from the company tells us these homes will be just under 900 square feet and are similar to the affordable housing the company built in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

“With the principles of design which have windows on multiple walls, tall ceilings are deployed to get homes that live as large as possible and feel great,” Cusato said. 

She says there is no set price for the homes.

When questioned about the quality, she says they’re still under construction and there are many improvements left to be made. 

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