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$23 million in housing money heading toward Central Florida

Orange County is set to get $9.8 million overall.

The federal government is sending Central Florida $23.4 million in various federal housing grants including programs to increase affordable housing, reduce homelessness, revitalize communities and provide suitable homes for individuals with HIV/AIDS, the regions’ congressional delegation announced Wednesday.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, and Darren Soto announced the combined grants headed toward Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties, as well as the cities of Orlando and Sanford, from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Orange County is set to get $9.8 million overall, and the city of Orlando $7.6 million. Seminole County is in line for $2.8 million, Osceola County, and Sanford $478,000.

“Affordable housing and smart urban planning are crucial in our work to build a Central Florida that works for all of us. Every Central Floridian should be able to live in a safe, healthy, affordable neighborhood,” Demings stated in a news release. “These new development grants are an important tool towards building more good-quality affordable housing and planning beautiful and integrated communities for all of us.”

The area is getting a total of $12.9 million through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program to redevelop affordable housing in low-income areas; $5.4 million from the HOME Investment Partnership Program for local community grants to build, buy and rehabilitate affordable housing; $1. million from the Emergency Solutions Grants Program to engage homeless individuals and families and improve the quality of emergency shelters; and $4.1 million from the Housing Opportunities for Persons Living With AIDS Program, to address low-income people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

“Affordable housing continues to be one of the biggest challenges in Central Florida. Along with another recently awarded HUD grant for $8 million, this new major $25 million federal grant will go a long way to assisting countless hard-working families in need of housing, especially in our most vulnerable communities,” Soto said. “We recognize the growing need for housing assistance in our region and will continue advocating for federal grants to address this issue.”

“While our region continues to attract new businesses, better-paying jobs, and new economic opportunities, affordable housing has not kept pace with this growth,” Murphy stated. “This is a serious challenge for central Florida, and we must tackle it head on so more hard-working people can afford a good home. I will keep fighting to secure investments like these that protect our most vulnerable communities, strengthen our economy, and support middle-class families.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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