Home Feature Headline New South Apopka affordable housing will have groundbreaking

New South Apopka affordable housing will have groundbreaking

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A groundbreaking ceremony for a new South Apopka affordable housing project has been scheduled for Thursday, March 16, 9-10 a.m. at 1221 S. Washington Ave., Apopka.

The groundbreaking was announced during the Friday, February 24, breakfast event Town Hall for Homes, at the John H. Bridges Community Center in Apopka.

At Town Hall for Homes, Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka unveiled plans for the 58 single-family housing subdivisions Juniper Bend and Arbor Bend, which will provide low-income families homeownership opportunities.

The 58 single-family affordable housing project has been divided between Seminole-Apopka and Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando. Seminole-Apopka has Juniper Bend, and Greater Orlando has Arbor Bend.

Aspiring homeowners participating in the Juniper Bend and Arbor Bend project registered through Habitat’s homeownership program that includes sweat equity. Construction will begin later this year.

To RSVP for the groundbreaking, contact Linda Andrews by emailing landrews@habitat-sa.org, calling 407-696-5855 ext. 2103 or visiting www.habitatseminoleapopka.org.

County Commissioners authorize INVEST funds for Juniper Bend/Arbor Bend

At their Tuesday, February 21, meeting, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners unanimously authorized an agreement between Orange County government and Homes in Partnership to use $724,000 of the INVEST funds for the Juniper Bend and Arbor Bend project.

Mitch Glasser, manager of Orange County Housing and Community Development Division, delivered the presentation.

Although the project is now called Juniper Bend and Arbor Bend, Glasser referred to it by its old name New Horizons. Some time in the past, the Habitat groups changed that name to the current ones and two more property lots were added for a total of 58 houses.

Here are some of the project details as laid out in that presentation:

  • The affordable housing project was previously Hawthorne Village Apartments, an 84-unit farm worker housing complex. The property title was transferred to Homes In Partnership in 2003.
  • Engineering assessment determined it was cost prohibitive to renovate the complex. In 2006, Homes in Partnership vacated the tenants from Hawthorne Village and demolished the buildings.
  • Though there were subsequent plans to redevelop the complex as a single-family affordable housing development, economic conditions including the Great Recession put the project on hold. In 2016, Homes in Partnership, Orange County, Habitat Greater Orlando and Habitat Seminole-Apopka forged a new partnership that breathed new life into the project.
  • Homes in Partnership will act as the developer of Habitat’s affordable homes project. Orange County will contribute $724,000 of INVEST funds to construction activities related to site work. Homes in Partnership will complete site development work, creating all of the buildable lots.
  • Both Habitats groups will purchase the lots at $14,000 each from Homes in Partnership. That cost is intended to reimburse Homes in Partnership for its expenses in getting the property ready for development including demolition cost, engineering/surveying cost, property taxes and miscellaneous costs.
  • Both Habitats have been awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to cover the cost of purchasing the lots. Agreements with both Habitats will be submitted to the Board for approval this March.
  • Home details:
    *Size: 1,079-1,510 square feet
    *Three to five bedrooms, one bathroom
    *Fair market value (appraisal prices): $140,000-$154,000