Orlando leaders break ground on affordable housing project

Development includes community center, playground, fitness trail

ORLANDO, Fla. – City leaders broke ground Wednesday on a new development that's aimed at bringing affordable housing to dozens of families in need.

"Remember, you're bringing families back," District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill said at the ceremony.

When completed, the Village at Mercy will be a 166-apartment community that will replace a once blighted and crime ridden complex that was bought by the city and demolished in 2016.

"It was just very, very dilapidated and poor conditions," Hill said.

The new development will include a community center, playground, fitness trail and recreation space along Lake Lawne.

City leaders described the new construction project as a catalyst for Orlando's Mercy Drive vision plan, which is aimed at strengthening the community and improving the quality of life.

"When all is said and done, it will be a very livable area that's walkable, that's safe, that's a place that residents are proud to say, 'I live on Mercy Drive,'" Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

According to the city, all of the apartments will have income restrictions of 60 percent or less of the median income of the area.  Half of the units will provide housing for formerly homeless individuals and families.

The Village on Mercy development will be located at 1740 Mercy Drive and is scheduled to be completed in October 2019.

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