I’m a competitive person, whether I’m cheering for my daughter’s softball team or playing a game of Scrabble®—so I’ve got good news. Sand skinks: 1; Affordable Housing for Central Florida: 2.
For six months, this snake-like reptile had stopped progress on our construction of approved affordable housing for Central Florida. The 4-inch sand-burrowing lizard was discovered on 3 of our 10 acres where we were approved to build 96 apartments. Since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services considers skinks a threatened species—one designation below endangered—they levied a hefty fine of $340,000 and delayed construction. We were told in the fall that it might even be a 2-year wait.
Thanks in part to assistance from U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL-15), we broke ground on affordable housing for Central Florida on June 30.
“The moment I heard about possible construction stalling in the New Beginnings project, I knew we couldn’t waste any more time in helping those less fortunate obtain housing,” said Congressman Ross. “I immediately sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to highlight the importance of New Beginnings’ project to our community and the need for its timely completion.”
In Florida, a household must earn $20.68 per hour to afford a 2-bedroom apartment (National Low Income Housing Coalition, “Out of Reach 2017”). Affordable housing for Central Florida residents are not widely available, so demand is high. To fill this need, New Beginnings partnered with developer Blue Sky Communities, a leader in helping non-profit organizations create new affordable housing.
Woodwinds residents will have access to New Beginnings social services, including budgeting, career counseling, parenting, life skills, even potential summer programs for children.
Rents are projected to be less than $600 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, making these apartments affordable housing for Central Florida. I’m thrilled to empower our hard-working neighbors with an opportunity to have a safe, affordable housing. Carteret Management will begin accepting applications in 2018. More details to come soon.
Completion and occupancy is currently planned for late 2018. And that’s a win worth celebrating.
Executive Vice President