Brevard County

City of Cocoa, local nonprofit lay foundation for new workforce housing

COCOA, Fla. — The city of Cocoa and a local nonprofit are laying the foundation for new workforce housing.

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Cocoa and Community Housing Initiative has started constructing the first five homes in the Michael C. Blake subdivision.

The subdivision, named after Cocoa’s mayor, was first purchased by the city in 2016 to be redeveloped for affordable housing.

These homes are being built in Cocoa’s Diamond Square Community, and the city hopes very soon that they will house police officers, firefighters, teachers or other first-time homebuyers.

Steven Bennett said he is looking forward to seeing his new neighbors.

Watch: Central Florida Spotlight: Affordable Housing

“It’s going to be a nice neighborhood,” he said. “Nice house is going to be built for affordable people.”

Affordable would be $272,000, but Mayor Mike Blake said he anticipates there will be assistance for homebuyers.

“The city will provide grants for first-time homebuyers. There will also be maybe state federal funds too, as well from our government,” he said.

Read: Former crime-ridden Orlando hotel turned into affordable housing

The Diamond Square Community Redevelopment Agency has also allocated $475,000 to construct additional workforce housing beyond the first five homes in this subdivision.

There are 22 lots, and the city hopes to put homes on each lot with the help of grants and partnerships with nonprofits.

“Demographics and data indicate when children have a stable, secure home, their academics increase, their attendance improve and the self-esteem improves,” Blake said. “So, we’re giving the individuals right here in the great city of Cocoa the opportunity to become a homeowner.”

This project is part of a broader workforce housing initiative. The city identified 42 properties that will be sold to help construct workforce housing.

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