Central Florida housing groups team up to call for more affordable options

·2 min read

A study by Florida Atlantic University shows rental rates in Orlando have jumped nearly 25 percent since April of last year.

Now, various Central Florida housing advocates are fighting to secure more affordable housing through education.

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Shannon Nazworth, President of Ability Housing, says her goal is to debunk myths on what the impact of affordable housing truly is.

“People believe it’s going to decrease their property values and increase crime,” Nazworth said. “There’s myriad studies that prove that’s not the case. Affordable housing is housing like everywhere else.”

Nazworth welcomed the group “YIMBY” or “Yes in my Backyard” to an open dialogue at a local affordable housing community to ask questions about how things work. YIMBY exists as a challenge to the “NIMBY” or “Not In My Back Yard” movement that typically stands in opposition to new developments.

A HUGE thank you to Ability Housing for hosting a learning session with our members. We learned a lot about the process of building affordable housing in Florida!

Posted by Orlando YIMBY on Friday, June 10, 2022

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YIMBY Board Member Austin Valle says the bigger goal is gaining momentum and allies to fight for affordable housing.

“Part of Orlando YIMBY’s goal is to make sure there’s more housing in communities, and the key way to do that is educate,” Valle said.

The “Village on Mercy” community houses 166 families on an income-based level. Half the people living there were once homeless.

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While it has typical amenities like an office center, it also provides needs for parents, like mentorship programs for kids when their parents are away.

It’s all made possible through a grant with Orange County.

Valle says he knows the fight to make more places like the “Village on Mercy” won’t be easy, but it’s a necessary one.

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“We believe if something is good, you want more of it, and we believe housing is good,” Valle said. “This is definitely part of a solution.”

PRESS CONFERENCE — Today, Senator Bracy stood alongside frontline community workers to announce housing efforts, including the Hometown Heroes Housing Program. Eligible recipients could receive up to $25,000 for a home.

Posted by Senator Randolph Bracy on Friday, June 10, 2022

Florida State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) announced another program Friday aimed at helping people who want to buy homes achieve their dreams.

It’s called the Hometown Heroes program, meant to help first time home buyers who are law enforcement, firefighters, healthcare workers, educators, and active military.

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All are eligible for up to $25,000 toward a down payment and closing costs.

Funding for the program was appropriated in the budget by the state legislature.

For more information on how to sign up for the Hometown Heroes program, click here.

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