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Orlando Neighborhood Gets a New Chance
[Photo 1: LIFT Orlando was awarded approximately $20.5 million in housing tax credits as well as a $2 million loan from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation Board to help develop a mixed-income multifamily rental housing development.]
LIFT Orlando was awarded approximately $20.5 million in housing tax credits as well as a $2 million loan from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation Board to help develop a mixed-income multifamily rental housing development.
 
[Photo 2: Community gardens are also being developed as part of the new Communities of West Lakes.]
Community gardens are also being developed as part of the new Communities of West Lakes.
 

A historic neighborhood in Orlando with pervasive poverty and obsolete housing, known as Paramore, is beginning its new chapter as The Communities of West Lakes.

Home of several dilapidated residential and commercial buildings including the now demolished Orange Manor Apartments, Paramore needed a coordinated strategy, a revitalization plan that included not only housing but also education and economic development. LIFT Orlando developed the plan. It includes an educational path to jobs that will provide opportunities for success and help the families increase their quality of life. Urban gardens and a culture of community wellness are also being developed. This video showcases how the idea evolved.

With the old housing now gone, the land is being prepared for construction. Phase one of the housing component has begun and The Villages of West Lakes will have 200 apartments. The project is being funded in part with $20.5 million in housing tax credits and a $2 million loan from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to help develop the mixed-income multifamily rental housing development. Phase two will develop a three-story building with 120 units for seniors.

HUD-Jacksonville's team of community capacity liaisons has seen the evolving successful place-based model for community revitalization and its integral approach. LIFT Orlando is a member of the Purpose-Built Communities Network; it uses a model known as "Cradle to Career", being implemented in 16 communities across the country to help distressed neighborhoods create a new chance to succeed.