Osceola News Brief - Cameron Preserve Groundbreaking - May 18, 2017
Cameron Preserve Offers Hope to Families in Need of Permanent Housing
An innovative public-private partnership between Osceola County, the Parramore Construction Company, Inc. and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to build affordable rental units and transition families out of homelessness broke ground Thursday.
“I’m proud that the County has found partners to help us address this issue and that we are creating a real option for our citizens,” said Commissioner Viviana Janer, who brought the idea of purchasing the property off of U.S. Highway 192 to the Commission about two years ago. “Because of its location near public transportation and employment centers, this is an ideal spot for this kind of development. We are bringing affordable housing to the people. Cameron Preserve aligns with our strategic initiatives to address affordable housing in this community.”
“Our goal is to help homeless families, including those living in motels, doubled-up with family or friends, living in cars, tents, and so forth into permanent housing,” she added. “Often these families just need a little help, and the result of this project will be that we can get them into stable living situations.”
The first phase of Cameron Preserve will include 100 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that will be leased to families at or below 80 percent of Osceola County’s median income.
The total investment in phase 1 is $21.4 million with tax credits being a key element that made the development possible. The agreement insures the long-term affordability of the units for the next 20 years, officials said.
“We are excited to partner with Osceola County to help solve the homelessness problem,” said Deion Lowery, president of Parramore Construction. “Cameron Preserve will be an apartment complex where these struggling families will be proud to live.”
In 2015, the County Commission entered into a public-private partnership and purchased the “Yates Property” - aka Cameron Preserve - as part of a Housing First strategic initiative that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life. Cameron Preserve also goes hand in hand with the County setting aside additional funding for rapid re-housing as it seeks to address its homelessness issue.
“Providing affordable housing is a complex issue faced by cities and counties across the nation. Cameron Preserve is a step in the right direction as we look for successful solutions to helping our residents in need for housing,” said Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, whose district includes the development. “Our goal is to help families to become self-sufficient, which results in a long-term reduction in social services and an overall improvement in education and health for those we assist.”