What affordable housing means in Lakeland

Get answers to these frequently asked questions about affordable housing options and qualifications in Lakeland.

A rendering of a four-story apartment building painted gray and dark blue. Palm trees and small trees line the building facing the street where pedestrians walk and a car drives by.

Parker Pointe will open on Friday, March 1 on Bella Vista Street.

Affordable housing is a hot topic our readers often ask us about, especially as the cost of living in Florida is higher than the national average. But what is affordable housing, actually? Let’s break down what this phrase means in Swan City.

Affordable housing defined

According to the city, affordable housing costs 30% or less of one’s income. For example, if someone makes $40,000 a year, housing would cost $1,000 or less per month.

This lines up with the definition of affordable housing from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Lakeland, the terms “low-income housing” or “subsidized housing” could also be used interchangeably.


Affordable housing is open to those whose annual gross income is below a certain percentage of the area median income. Polk County’s median family income is $74,300.

There are income restrictions on many of these communities based on the percentage of the median income an applicant makes. These vary between developments, but most range from 30% to 80% of the median income.

The city does not directly provide rental assistance to residents — the Lakeland Housing Authority (LHA) is the go-to resource for affordable housing. LHA offers several types of properties, including single-family homes and apartments. Lakeland’s Housing Office provides homebuyer assistance + emergency repairs for residents, as well as incentives for developers.

Affordable housing in Lakeland

Lakeland has 17 affordable housing developments with 1,000+ total units either completed or forthcoming, but the local need for affordable housing continues to grow. Ben Stevenson, director of the LHA, says there are only three units available for every 10 families who apply for low-income housing.

The next affordable housing communities include Griffin Lofts, Twin Lakes Estate, and Parker Pointe, which will hold a grand opening on Saturday, March 1.