Casselberry wants to buy aging manufactured homes for Habitat for Humanity to rebuild

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CASSELBERRY, Fla. —

The city of Casselberry hopes to transform a community full of aging manufactured homes into one filled with new single-family housing.

It's already found a partner with Habitat for Humanity, and all the city needs now is the financing.

North Casselberry has plenty of vacant manufactured housing that's not doing either the city or neighbors like Shawn Walker very much good, but it could.

"It would provide housing for a low-income family," said Walker.

Walker said as it is now, this property is only providing housing for pests.

The city of Casselberry would like to buy the property and three-dozen others like it with neighborhood stabilization money earmarked for Seminole County. Then, Habitat would build homes that could increase the city's tax base.

"Not only does it contribute to the tax rolls, but out also helps with neighborhood investment, community investment, which I think is equally important," said Kyle Dudgeon, Casselberry's economic development planner.

Casselberry has already made a request to the county for $1 million to $1.5 million to begin buying empty properties.

The land value is estimated at $30,000. It would cost another $5,000 to demolish each manufactured home. That would allow Habitat to build a single-family home with a value closer to $100,000.

"It would just take some planning, and kind of engaging the community. I know we could do it. I think we could do 10 houses at a time. That's a lot, but I know we could do it," said Penny Seater, with Habitat for Humanity in Seminole and Greater Apopka

And Habitat sees Casselberry's proposal as another opportunity to provide safe, affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity in Seminole and Greater Apopka, has 21 families waiting to buy a Habitat home.

This is just one of the many recent initiatives Casselberry officials have come up with to help revitalize the area.

Officials are making banks register with the city so the city can hold them responsible for foreclosed commercial properties. And on Wednesday, WFTV learned the city wants to extend a special street light tax. WFTV is working to find out how much it could cost residents.