Orange County

City of Orlando, developer helps solve housing crisis with restoration project

ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 has shared the issue of Orlando’s housing crisis for months.


Last summer, the city announced a plan to turn an old hotel into affordable housing units, which is becoming a reality.

A developer said they are working to solve the affordable housing crisis by restoring old hotels and other dilapidated buildings.

Shantel Garcia said it had been a month since she moved into her new home, and life had only changed for the better.

Read: She built her own affordable housing complex. A year later, she’s expanding

“My goal is to save, and my goal is to work towards financial prosperity in my life, and living here allows me to do both,” Garcia said.

Garcia lives at Palm Gardens Orlando Apartments on West Colonial Drive. It was once called Ambassador Hotel.

Developer Mark Vengroff runs One Stop Housing. Vengroff is partnering with the City of Orlando to fight the affordable housing crisis.

“Everything we do is workforce housing-related,” he said.

Read: Developers, housing activists weigh in on Orange County’s affordable housing crisis

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Metro Orlando is the nation’s second least affordable market, with only 25 affordable units available per 100 low-income renter households.

Once this $15 million housing conversion project is complete, it will add 150 modern-styled affordable multifamily rentals to the local market.

Read: 2023 housing market forecast: When will homes become affordable again?

Rents will average about $750 per month, including all utilities, versus the more than $1,500 average for a comparable unit in west Orlando.

If all goes as planned, it will take nine months to renovate all these units.

While the units won’t be move-in ready until the fall, you don’t have to wait until then to apply.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray,

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.