Affordable Housing and Homelessness Success Stories in Broward County
This report highlights several affordable housing successes. These stories represent a small sample of the exciting work being done in Broward County to create quality, permanent and affordable housing opportunities to meet the needs of lower and moderate income individuals and families and/or the homeless population some of whom contend with mental and physical disabilities. With the continued funding and support of many of these federal and state programs, individuals and families are steadily making their way to self-sufficiency and homeownership.
The City of Hollywood Washington Park housing project was completed in June of 2012. The project comprised of the construction of 24 residential units and a community center located in close proximity to public transportation and community services. The City partnered with Liberia Economic and Social Development (LES), a Community Housing and Development Organization (CHDO) for the development of this project. In Washington Park, on Wiley Street, between 56th and 57th Avenues, there previously existed substandard, unsafe, functionally antiquated rental structures that were the principal contributors to blighting conditions that threatened the entire neighborhood. In order to eliminate this blighting influence, the City undertook an extensive acquisition, relocation, and demolition effort. The Washington Park Neighborhood is a Low and Moderate Income (LMI) neighborhood that is within both the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Target Area and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Target Area. LES, as a sub recipient of NSP funds, entered into an agreement with Link Construction Group, a design-build contractor, to design and construct the 24 residential units.
Broward County Housing Authority
The Broward County Housing Authority (BCHA) has responded to the continuing community need for affordable housing by creating a new lakeside enclave of townhomes in Hollywood, FL. The ten townhomes serving residents earning up to 120 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) were designed and self-developed by the BCHA. An Affordable Housing Program grant received from Broward County Housing Finance and Community Development Division was combined with the Authority’s own funds to complete the $2 million dollar construction. The townhomes feature two and three bedroom units, one car garage, energy efficiency and sustainability of the property. The Spanish influenced architecture blends seamlessly with the single family homes in the neighborhood while providing a smooth transition to the multi-family units located to the north of the property. The easy maintenance natural landscaping surrounding the community’s pool area adds to the property’s appeal while the overall design, construction and amenity package will serve as a prototype for future "in-fill" projects developed by the BCHA intended for sites of less than one acre.
Broward Housing Solutions® Success Story Testimonials
My life was disrupted at the age of 21 when I was diagnosed with my mental illness. The event that changed my life was an attempt to take my own life. One moment I was just driving near the beach, and the next thing that I remember, I was floating out into the ocean. I could not recall when I entered the water or why I was in the water. I had to be rescued by a life guard. When we returned to land, I was arrested. I was released from jail into the state’s custody. While in custody, I went into a starvation period and refused to eat. After two weeks of refusing to eat, I started hallucinating. I entered the South Florida State Hospital to seek treatment for my mental illness. I was immediately placed on medication that helped stabilize me and I was offered group therapy and assistance with employment services.
Having to deal with my mental illness eventually led to alcohol addiction. I struggled for years with this addiction, at times I would find myself homeless. I slept behind office buildings, old plant warehouses, homes, and hospitals. I also lived in Assisted Living Facilities and eventually transitional housing. During my last visit/stay in transitional housing, I was given the opportunity to register and qualify for permanent housing through VOA (Volunteers of America). Through that program, I was introduced to Broward Housing Solutions®. I went from being homeless not knowing if I would find a safe place to sleep every night to having my own apartment and living independently. My apartment is beautiful, and it is mine. I have a place for all of my belongings; never do I fear that anything will be taken away from me. Because of the “blessing” of Broward Housing Solutions®, I have a place to call my own. I consider myself one lucky guy. I have been rock-solid stable on the same medications for the past ten years, and I recently celebrated 6 ½ years of sobriety. I no longer worry about where I will sleep or when I will receive my next meal. I have picked up hobbies that include reading and drawing. I even sold a few of my pieces and hopefully have some of my work displayed in museums and art galleries. ~Scott
I am a grateful recovering addict. I was homeless and living in the streets and addicted to crack-cocaine before I was introduced to Broward Housing Solutions®. I started drinking alcohol at fifteen years old and developed split personalities. More precise, at least 20 people lived in my head, Jo-Jo, Peggy, Brenda, Ella, and Andy to name a few. I suffered from dissociative identify disorder as a result of horrific abuse by my stepfather from age 5 through my teenage years. These personalities each had a role and helped me accomplish the various tasks of life, from dealing with my past to simply getting on a bus. I am now able to live independently in a relative stability atmosphere thanks to the help of the Broward Housing Solutions®. ~Joanne
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