Non-profit gets funding to turn Mercy Drive apartments into low-income housing

ORLANDO, Fla. — Empty, boarded apartments on Mercy Drive in Orlando could soon be torn down, and a non-profit agency has plans to put in apartments for low-income families.

The non-profit received the state funding it needed to make the renderings a reality.

Tracy Howard worries about single mothers who struggle to afford a place to live.

She lives within walking distance from the empty, boarded apartments on Mercy Drive.

“It’s an eyesore. They need to clean it up, get the trash out and do what they’re going to do,” said Hayward. “If they’re going to do it, don’t take too long before the property just gets outrageous.”

Ability Housing, a non-profit based in Jacksonville, received the state funding it needed to make the renderings a reality.

State officials approved $26 million in tax credits and loans for the non-profit agency to build 166 affordable housing apartments.

The units will be built in the area city that Commissioner Regina Hill represents.

“This will also give them this hand-up back into society that they needed, so that children are no longer living in hotel rooms, or living in the backseat of cars,” said Hill.

Non-profit officials said the average income for a family of four in Orange County is about $57,000.
In order to qualify for housing, families would have to make no more than $35,000.

The agency shared photos of other affordable housing projects it’s worked on, like Village on Wiley and Mayfair Village in Jacksonville.

“There was love. There were children playing outside safely. When I toured inside the apartment complexes, they were clean,” Hill said.

Construction will take about a year and the project is expected to be done by 2018.

The non-profit agency said the maximum amount it could charge for a three bedroom would be $900.