Posts

Parramore may be getting a Main Street economic growth program

Image
Orlando’s Parramore community may soon be getting a Main Street (economic development) program – again.
Reports are there are discussions behind the scenes the revive the Main Street program on the Church Street corridor in Parramore.
Orlando’s first Main Street program was launched more than a decade ago. Main Street is a partnership with the community, business and local government to revive downtown and local commercial corridors.
The Parramore main Street program was shut down by former City Commissioner Daisy Lynum after a few months.
While the program did not catch on in Parramore, it flourished in 9 other Orlando communities including SoDo, just south of downtown Orlando on Orange Avenue and in the Mills Avenue area, just north of downtown, to name a few.
These programs have proven themselves effective in bringing new energy and investment to the communities they serve.
Relaunching Main Street in Parramore could help the area where the annual median income for some longtime residents…

Parramore and Mayor Pete have something in common -- gentrification

Image
Gentrification (pushing poor people out of the neighborhood to make room for wealthier residents) is a dirty word in Parramore.
Gentrification is also a dirty word in the northwest side of South Bend, Indiana. South Bend is led by “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg, who quickly became one of the highest profile politicians running to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. President.
Under Mayor Pete, South Bend – the home of Notre Dame University – embarked on an initiative called “1,000 Houses in 1,000 Days.” Through that program, the city demanded that 1,000 rundown houses be repaired or torn down.
The result was that 60 percent of the homes were demolished. Many residents of those communities were poor, or black and brown. People who lived in the rental properties that were demolished said they had difficulty finding new affordable housing. Roughly 40 percent of South Bend’s residents are black and brown.
The demolitions created an opportunity for investors to build new, more expensive housing. It …

What happens after the projects get torn down?

Image
What happens when the Orlando Housing Authority gets the green light to tear down the public housing projects at Griffin Park, Murchison Terrace, Lake Mann, Ivey Lane and Reeves Terrace and Lorna Doone? Residents will be given vouchers they can present to private landlords (which may or may not be accepted if the reimbursement is enough) and then if new housing is built on the site of the projects, they could return later.
The situation for present public housing residents is further complicated because Orlando is experiencing a catastrophic shortage of affordable housing – the worst in the nation. A recent report says Central Florida needs more than 115,000 units of affordable housing.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s strategy has changed from running and providing public housing to "helping HUD-assisted families achieve self-sufficiency" according to HUD chief Ben Carson.
Carson’s comment comes at a time when HUD's overall funding is being slashed …

Want an affordable apartment in Parramore Oaks?

Image
Want to get an apartment at Parramore Oaks -- the new development under construction on the site of the old Parramore Village community?
An informational meeting on Parramore Oaks will be held Wednesday, April 17th, 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Neighborhood Center.
The lack of affordable housing is especially critical in the Parramore community where many people are getting squeezed out by gentrification being caused by the opening of the University of Central Florida’s downtown campus and the planned demolition of Orlando public housing projects.
While city officials keep boasting they are building affordable housing in the Parramore area, a recent article by a 32805OrlNews correspondent showed most Parramore residents won’t be able to afford the housing being built in the community.
Many rents in the Parramore area are soaring to $1,000 or more. Most Parramore residents – most of whom work – cannot afford a monthly rent of more than $350.

Strange real estate wheeling and dealing in Parramore

Image
Something weird is happening with land sales and property values in the Parramore area.
Earlier this year three non-profits joined forces to buy 83 homes (homes, duplexes, and apartments) in Parramore. They called that effort the Parramore Asset Stabilization Fund, and they said their goal is to renovate the units and provide affordable housing for many years.
These nonprofits – including the Central Florida Foundation, the Florida Community Loan Fund, and New Jersey Community Capital – paid $8 million for these properties.

The Orange Property Appraisers records show the properties – most in poor condition – were worth slightly less than $2 million.
So why pay $6 million more than the property is valued, then turn around and ask the Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency for hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the units?
But that’s not the only strange thing about these properties.
Analysis of records at the Property Appraiser’s office shows that the between 2017 and 2018 the market …

If you live in the projects, you could end up homeless

Image
Ben Carson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), wants to end public housing in Orlando, and across the country.
If you live in public housing in Orlando, you should be very worried about your future.

In a meeting earlier this month, Vivian Bryant, CEO of the Orlando Housing Authority, said the agency plans to demolish Griffin Park, Murchison Terrace, Reeves Terrace, Lake Mann Homes, Ivey Lane Homes, Lorna Doone projects because they are in poor condition and too expensive to repair.
Ms. Bryant said the agency hopes to rebuild the rundown housing authority communities. In the past, housing authorities, have applied to HUD for grants and other assistance for construction and repairs.
However, HUD Secretary Carson said the federal government can’t afford public housing anymore. During a Congressional hearing earlier this year, Carson said public housing should be privatized under the Rental Assistance Demonstration project.
The RAD program, which started u…

How much affordable housing is really being created in Parramore?

Image
Orlando City Hall boasts that 350 units of affordable housing are being built in the Parramore community. Sounds great! But what does “affordable” mean?


Under Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines housing is considered affordable if it costs 30 percent of less of the household income. The City of Orlando defines affordable housing as rents or house payments, affordable to families making 80% of median income or less In the Orlando market, the median annual income is $45,436, which means affordable rent is $1,135.90 a month.Average rent in Orlando is $1,300, which is considered market rate. As most people know, the Orlando area is facing an affordable housing crisis. In Parramore -- where the median income is much lower than the Orlando median -- the affordable housing crisis is even worse. As of 2014, the average median income in Parramore was $13,613. Under HUD’s definition of affordable, any rent higher than $340.32 is too expensive. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer insist…