SARASOTA- Sarasota County approves a new apartment complex as they look to increase the availability of workforce housing in the county. In an effort to bring in more workforce housing, Sarasota County approved a new kind of development, half-dwelling units.

“I thought the process of allowing 750 square foot units to be counted as a half-dwelling unit was a very creative,”Commissioner Cutsinger said. “Partial solution to the issue we’re facing with affordable housing.”

The new development at Lockwood and Gocio aims to make more affordable units available as critical services are having a difficult time hiring.

“Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has talented people who want to move here and become deputies,” Commissioner Maio said. “And have no place to live, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, I’ve met with their HR department, struggling to find nurses who can afford to live here.”

Pricing is not set, but Commissioner Nancy Detert questioned how affordable it would be.

“But if you’re going to start at 1,550 for a one bedroom,” Detert said. “That’s still a high price to pay for 750 square feet.”

Commissioner Moran said short of rent control there was not much they could do.

“We can control bringing about these smaller units,” Moran said. “It fits the need, it fits the market, and again things go up and things go down.”