The county's latest proposal would start a small-lot home's price at under $199,800, three times the county's moderate income level, and restrict the price for 10 years, allowing an increase of 3 percent per year if the owner sold before then.

County planners have proposed to control an affordable home's price by permanently restricting its size to 1,500 square feet, rather than making sure all prospective buyers of a home - the first buyer as well as future buyers - meet income guidelines.

"We're looking at something that is not administratively complex and not subsidy-based," Community Development Director Bob Keating said Friday.

Keys complained of Keating being reluctant to "police" affordable housing. She said she is drafting an alternate plan that would make sure homes marketed as affordable or work f rce housing would remain in reach of the same buyers in subsequent resales.

Qualified buyers would be classified either as extremely low-, very low-, low- or moderate-income households, based on their relationship to the county's median income as defined by the Florida Housing Finance Corp.

An extremely-low income would be less than 30 percent of the county's median income, currently $53,250, while a moderate income could go up to 20 percent more than the median.

"If a very-low-income family buys a home, they can't resell to a moderate-income family," Keys said. To allow that practice, she said, soon would take that house out of the reach of families it was build for.

"My way would make affordable homes available and keep them in the affordable-housing arena without the county financing affordable housing," Keys said.

Keating cited his own department's 13 years of experience qualifying first-time home buyers through the State Housing Initiative Partnership program, in which the county uses state money to make loans to help buyers with downpayments and closing costs.

Qualifying buyers for that aid is already tough, he said, because banks don't always agree with the county on such issues as whether child support should count as income or whether children in school should still count as part of the family expenses if they have their own jobs. When the county qualifies people for SHIP, he said, the county is using government money and has a role in the deal.

"We'd be telling someone who they can't sell to," he said. "There's a lot more brain damage, I think, in doing this than any benefit you would get out of it."

The Keating version focuses on the property. It starts a home price at up to $199,800 and restricts rents or sales prices for 10 years, allowing an increase of 3 percent per year if resold. But it permanently restricts a house size to 1,500 square feet and bars additions.

The Keys version focuses on the buyer, classifying them in specific income levels. It restricts how the buyer can resell the home. Someone who buys at a price marketed for very low incomes, for instance, could not sell to someone who could pay at a moderate-income level.

This is cache, read story here