Orange County Government leaders and staff joined the community to celebrate the groundbreaking of Emerald Villas Phase II in Pine Hills. [L-R] Albert Milo, President of Related Urban Development Group, Orange County District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore and Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.
Affordable housing is a huge concern for local seniors – many of whom are on a fixed income. To meet that need, Emerald Villas recently broke ground on Phase II of its development, which will feature 96 units for low and very-low income seniors. Emerald Villas is one of Pine Hills newest multi-housing projects.
Orange County’s Housing and Community Development Division provided $3.2 million in funding for the second phase of the $19-million project.
To help celebrate the partnership between public-private- and non-profit groups, , Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and Orange County District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore joined the community groundbreaking on June 5, 2019. Partners from the Related Urban Group, Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation and the State’s Housing Finance Corporation took part in the festivities. All partners have been instrumental to the site’s revitalization.
“There is a renaissance in the Pine Hills community to help improve the quality of life,” said Mayor Demings, who has affordable housing as one of the top priorities in his administration. “This project provides a unique opportunity for intergenerational living and we are especially pleased that 40 percent of the units will be set aside for very low-income seniors.”
Mayor Demings recalled how more than a decade ago, the property that Emerald Villas now sits on was a rundown, large apartment complex with plagued with crime, no air conditioning, broken and boarded up windows and had a 70 percent vacancy rate.
The need for redevelopment was a transformative one, and since that time, Emerald Villas Phase I was completed and features 264 units for families.
The new senior addition will allow the property to be intergenerational. Apartment costs range from $457 to $862 per month depending on one or two bedroom options. Phase II is slated to be complete in less than 18 months.