BIG PINE KEY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners and Monroe County Land Authority, who are prioritizing affordable housing development, joined the Monroe County Housing Authority to break ground at one of the 12 two-bedroom, one-bathroom, single-family affordable home sites being rebuilt as rentals on Big Pine Key. The project was a joint partnership between the three entities and will be managed by the Housing Authority. More than $6 million in land acquisition and construction funding came from Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Rent on the homes will range between $300-$1,700 a month for qualified applicants based on income limits.
Monroe County Mayor Craig Cates, Land Authority Executive Director Christine Hurley, and Vice Chairman of the Housing Authority Pat Labrada spoke at the ceremony. Mayor Pro Tem Holly Merrill Raschein and Commissioners Michelle Lincoln and Jim Scholl were also in attendance.
The houses will be hurricane rated, elevated above flood risk, and built to Florida Green Standards.
“This is a great example of how the Housing Authority and the Board of County Commissioners work together on affordable housing initiatives,” said Labrada.
The construction is being done in phases, with the first house expected to be move-in ready by the end of this year and others coming available throughout 2024.
“There is a lot of talk about the need for affordable housing, and we are so happy about these homes because they will be for families, and it will give them the future they need to stay here,” said Cates. “This project is making a small but huge dent in affordable housing, and we are much better off than we were years ago.”
Hurley explained the impact the Lower Keys area experienced in Hurricane Irma and thanked Merrill Raschein for her commitment to securing funding for housing while she was a State Representative. “Our Board sees affordable housing as a need for our community members and this project sets a new standard for a type of housing that is missing in publically assisted affordable housing. We can continue to partner in projects like this,” she said.
Forty more units are on the horizon, similarly funded with the same type of partnership structure. These additional units will be built on Big Pine Key and Conch Key.
The Housing Authority has not started taking applications for the homes yet. More information on the Housing Authority can be found at https://www.kwha.org/mcha/.
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