With housing costs skyrocketing and rental rates increasing, many people in Central Florida are struggling to find a home they can afford, or the money to continue to pay for the home they have.
One solution local leaders are working on is creating new housing that’s affordable.
What You Need To Know
- Village on Mercy is an affordable housing complex in Orlando
- It was built by Ability Housing, which works with local governments and agencies to create affordable housing communities
- The group is working with Orlando YIMBY to help end the stigma of affordable housing complexes
Liz Morgan is helping to lead a summer camp on-site at Village on Mercy. All the kids at the camp live at the affordable housing complex and without it, Morgan said they might not otherwise have anywhere to go during the day.
“A lot of families cannot pay for summer programs, and we teach life enrichment, money management, self-esteem and an educational focus as well,” she said.
It’s an added plus for some of the 166 families who live at the complex, half of which say they were homeless before they found housing there.
The complex was built by Ability Housing, which works with local agencies and governments to create affordable housing communities. On Friday, Ability Housing officials met with Orlando YIMBY — which stands for “Yes In My Back Yard — a group of local advocates who are pushing back on groups who fight to keep new affordable housing developments from being built.
They work to counteract the NIMBY idea, which stands for “Not In My Back Yard.”
“We want communities that welcome anybody of any background, of any income level, of any variable of diversity,” said Austin Valle, one of Orlando YIMBY’s co-leads. “We want to accept those not just into our city as a whole, but every individual neighborhood."
Morgan said that with the kids in stable homes, she can focus on teaching them important life lessons, and have some fun during their summer break.
“This really affords kids, they can sleep comfortably at night knowing they have a place to stay, they don’t have to worry about their next meal or even living in a car,” she said.