How much affordable housing is really being created in Parramore?

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

Amelia Court in Parramore

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 insists that the city is “committed to ensuring that anyone who wants to call Orlando home has access to safe, high-quality housing that they can afford.” Additionally, many non-profits and developers have promised to create affordable housing in Parramore.
The construction of the Amelia Court and Parramore Oaks developments, as well as the Parramore Assets Stabilization Fund’s recent purchase of 83 housing units, are part of the strategy to create more quality affordable housing in the neighborhood.
However, several factors have presented themselves as challenges to providing affordable housing in the Parramore. HUD sets rates for affordable housing based on the metropolitan-area median income instead of the median income for areas like Paramore. Additionally, building housing is expensive.
So how affordable are these housing units for the people living in Parramore?

Parramore Oaks

Let’s look at the rent picture at some of the Parramore developments under construction right now:
Parramore Oaks
Total units: 211 units being built in two phases
Phase 1:  120 Units
Market rate: * 24 units ranging from $845 for a studio to $1,341 for a 3br/2b
Affordable Housing: *96 units with ranging from $387 to $875
Units affordable for the average Parramore resident: *None based off the 2014 Parramore Median Income
*These numbers were estimated last year by HUD and are subject to change this year upon review.

Amelia Court
Total Units: 256 units
Market rate: 162 units with rents ranging between $1,052 - $1,999
Affordable Housing: 94 units with rents which are broken down into two categories $350-$500 range and the $650-$900 range. Another 86 units could be added if the development is approved for additional low-income housing credits which would bring the total up to 178 units
Units affordable for the average Parramore resident: Roughly 47 but this could be higher if Amelia Court receives additional low-income housing credits.

Parramore Assets Stabilization house

Parramore Assets Stabilization Fund
Total units: 82 homes
Market rate: None
Affordable housing: Average monthly rent of units is $661
Units affordable for the average Parramore resident: Based off the monthly average, zero.
Conclusion without Parramore Oaks phase 2 included
Total: 456
Market Rate: 186
Affordable Housing: 270
Units affordable for average Parramore resident: 47

This exclusive report was researched and written by Correspondent Alex Gurtis.


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