I want to share promising news on the City’s plans to purchase seven vacant, foreclosed properties in the greater Washington Shores area and Mercy Drive, in an effort to transform these sites into safe and attractive housing for our residents.
Unfortunately, more than 700 apartment units in these neighborhoods were not properly maintained over the years. Due to building code and life safety violations with electrical, plumbing and accessibility, the apartments were left uninhabitable, and subsequently boarded up. These units were ultimately foreclosed on by Fannie Mae. This type of blight is not acceptable anywhere in our City.
In an effort to ensure quality redevelopment and provide much needed affordable housing, the City is negotiating to purchase the properties and partner with community development organizations to construct mixed-income affordable housing that will complement the surrounding neighborhoods.
For the last two years, LIFT Orlando, a local not-for-profit, has been working with the Washington Shores community to develop a comprehensive revitalization plan that focuses on housing, education, wellness and economic development. LIFT Orlando has partnered with The Village of Orlando led by Bishop Allen Wiggins and Columbia Residential to purchase three of these apartment units in Washington Shores from the City of Orlando.
As part of the redevelopment agreement with LIFT Orlando, the City is requiring that building permits for demolition be pulled within nine months, with demolition beginning in 12 months and completion of demolition within 18 months.
There are no immediate plans for the four apartment sites along Mercy Drive. The City will partner with interested community development organizations on the redevelopment of these residential sites.
I want you to know the City of Orlando is committed to ensuring quality redevelopment that benefits the surrounding neighborhoods and contributes positively to the quality of life for our residents.
I look forward to working together, as a community, to further enhancing Orlando’s neighborhoods.
– Mayor Buddy Dyer