What Methods are available to meet the WHP Obligation?

Several different methods are available to meet a project's WHP obligation. Note that, as reflected in the above descriptions, the choice of method affects the amount of density bonus available (for Full Incentive projects seeking more than 50% Density Bonus) and the calculation of WHP obligation. The selected method must be declared prior to certification for public hearing, or at DRO if no public hearing is required. A change to the declared method is subject to the same approval process, and cannot be accommodated after building permits have been issued for more than 25% of units in the subject development. WHP units to be provided off-site can be provided within municipalities. The available methods are summarized below; please refer to the WHP code (Article 5, Chapter G, Section 1) for full details:

Build WHP units on-site:

  • Required WHP units may be provided on site, either integrated within the market rate development, or in a separate development pod.
  • For-sale units built on site under the full-incentive option are eligible for several discounts on the obligation (see WHP Incentive Options Table)

Build WHP units off-site, same developer:

  • Required units may be provided off-site, as part of a separate project by the same developer (note that the separate project, if subject to the WHP program, will have its own development approval with its own WHP obligation; these WHP units cannot count toward the obligation of another off-site project).
  • If the parent project is a for-sale project, and the units are delivered as rentals, the 1.5x multiplier applies (see WHP Incentive Options table here).
  • The WHP units can be provided in a municipality, with proof of notification required
  • The required number of WHP units will be discounted if the WHP units are provided as for-sale units under the full-incentive program (see WHP Incentive Options table)

Build WHP units off-site, through an Exchange Builder:

  • The developer of a market rate project may engage an "exchange builder" to deliver WHP units to meet the market rate developer's WHP obligation, provided that certain conditions are met prior to the market rate project's first residential building permit, including payment of an 'exchange fee' by the market rate developer to the exchange builder, evidence of project site controls and financial viability, and surety for 80% of the in lieu fee. There is also the option to instead pay surety for 100% of the in lieu fee, and then provide the required items by 25% of the market rate project's building permits. A more detailed overview of the Exchange Builder option is available here. A timeline for meeting Exchange Builder requirements is available here.
  • Interested parties may want to consult the "applications in process" lists available for County Comprehensive Plan Amendments, and rezonings or project approvals, which may include potential projects for an exchange.  Since WHP units can be provided anywhere in Palm Beach County, interested parties are encouraged to also check the same information in area municipalities to identify projects that could serve as exchange partners to receive the obligated WHP units.
  • Under this option, the market rate development is then decoupled from the exchange builder project. The exchange builder is obligated to deliver the WHP units within 36 months, unless an extension is approved and additional surety is provided.
  • The exchange builder project, if subject to the WHP, will have its own development approval with its own WHP obligation;these WHP units cannot count toward the obligation of the market rate project.
  • If the market rate project is a for-sale project, and the WHP units are delivered as rentals, the 1.5x multiplier applies (see WHP Incentive Options table)
  • The required number of WHP units will be discounted if the WHP units are provided as for-sale units under the full-incentive program. (See WHP Incentive Options table)
Restrict an existing Market Rate unit
  • A developer may choose to restrict an existing, off-site market rate unit to meet a project's WHP obligation. The unit may be sold as a restricted unit, it may be retained by the developer as a restricted rental, or it may be deeded to the County.
  • Use of this option requires certain conditions to be met prior to the market rate project's final approval, including evidence of site control and approval of the unit by the Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability.
  • If the market rate project is a for-sale project, and the WHP units are delivered as rentals, the 1.5x multiplier applies (see WHP Incentive Options table)
  • The required number of WHP units will be discounted if the WHP units are provided as for-sale units under the full-incentive program. (see WHP Incentive Options table)

Donate Land of Value Equivalent to the In Lieu Fee

  • A developer of a market rate project may elect to donate developable land equal in value to the in lieu fee.
  • Donated land must be approved by the County's Property and Real Estate Management Division, and must be deeded to the County prior to issuance of 50% of the market rate building permits.

Pay the In Lieu Fee

  • A developer may opt to pay the in lieu fee, which is assessed based on the unit type of the subject development: $120,000 for single-family, $100,000 for townhouses, and $75,000 for multi-family units.
  • Payment is due prior to 50% of market rate building permits