Apopka, Orange County officials build new affordable housing development

Cornerstone on Sixth is a 24 town home development

APOPKA, Fla. – The city of Apopka and Orange County are hoping to get results for Central Florida residents with the construction of a new affordable housing development.

The Hannibal Square Community Land Trust broke ground on the new 24 town home development called Cornerstone on Sixth on Friday.

The town homes will be located off of 6th Street near downtown Apopka.

Despite several obstacles over the last few years, the Hannibal Square Community Land Trust, city of Apopka and Orange County didn’t give up on the development.

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“Oh man, we survived some hurricanes, a pandemic, and a couple of financers dropping out,” said Juan Hollingsworth, Hannibal Square Community Land Trust president. “It’s been a long road.”

Hollingsworth said the land where development will be built sat desolate prior to the project.

“We had an opportunity to acquire this land, to build affordable housing for this particular community that is underserved,” Hollingsworth said.

Each town home will have three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms with an open-concept floor plan, a contemporary design and stainless steel appliances. In total, the project is estimated to cost $8 million.

Construction costs will be covered by the Black Economic Development Fund, an investment fund created to address economic disparity and the wealth gap in Black communities.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the county will also throw in another $1.5 million from the Orange County Housing Trust to help keep the homes affordable.

“We’re living in inflationary times,” Demings said. “We’re living during a high growth period of time in which our population is increasing significantly. The one thing that hasn’t kept pace is the wages within our community. And so to make housing more affordable for those who are working class people is very important.”

Hollingsworth said thanks to community partnerships and funding, they’ll be able to keep the mortgages around $200,000. He said the construction is estimated to take 18 months.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.