Orange County

Orlando approves new affordable housing project despite air-quality concerns from residents

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando City Council has voted in favor of building another affordable housing project for seniors, even though opponents think the location will ultimately hurt the health of the people living in the area.

The voted approved the Fern Grove Senior Housing Project but some residents are concerned about air quality in the area.

Community activists, community leaders and other neighbors went before the City Council on Monday in the attempt to persude the council not to build a four-story, 138-unit senior housing apartment building.

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The Fern Grove housing development would be constructed at a wooded area along WD Judge Drive, east of Mercy Drive.

“We have a lot of senior citizens,” ecologist Dr. Lisa Jones said. “I myself have asthma so I need all the clean air I can get. If you remove these 22 acres on top of the 160 acres already removed to make the recreational park, the packing district and that industrial warehouse, you are seriously exposing us to some very poor air quality.”

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Within one mile of the proposed location, there are already three locations used for affordable housing options for seniors. And waiting lists for the facilities are growing too quickly to save the trees standing in the way.

The council voted to move forward with the project but there is no word on when construction will begin.

Karen Parks

Karen Parks,

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.