Disney World plans new affordable housing in Central Florida. Here’s what we know

Disney officials say 80-acre development to bring over 1,300 units near theme parks

Walt Disney World is planning to bring over 1,300 units to Central Florida with a new affordable housing development near its theme parks.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Walt Disney World is planning to bring over 1,300 units to Central Florida with a new affordable housing development near its theme parks.

The 80-acre development is being planned in southwest Orange County, the company said Wednesday in a news release.

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“This initiative has been in the works for quite some time and builds on The Walt Disney Company’s long legacy of bringing positive, lasting change to the communities it calls home -- making an important difference locally to address one of the nation’s greatest challenges,” Disney said in the release.

According to Disney officials, the development is still in the early planning stages but will be located near the new Flamingo Crossings Town Center. Disney is planning to construct over 1,300 units that will be available for “qualifying applicants from the general public, including Disney cast members.”

“The lack of affordable housing is affecting many people across our country, including right here in Central Florida. With this initiative, we’re lending a hand to make a real and meaningful impact in our community by tapping into the best of our company’s strengths,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “This is the right opportunity and the right time to take action.”

The company said it will work with a developer to add “creative and innovative touches” to the housing development.

Though Disney hasn’t yet released how much it might cost to live there, Orange County comptroller Phil Diamond called it a win-win and said it could be a good sign for our economy.

“If you can solve the affordable housing issue, you’re going to help solve connecting good workers and good organizations - and when you have that happen, that’s just good for the economy,” said Diamond. “The more people they hire, those people are probably going to want to work close to work.”

This comes as the Unite for Alice research center shows that a single adult in orange county would break-even making $14.46 an hour while paying $944 a month for rent.

If they paid anything more in rent, or got paid any less, they would struggle to make it paycheck to paycheck.

No other details have been released.

About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.