$1.5 million, 2 FCLF loans
63 single family homes
6,300 sq ft community center
“Thanks to the Florida Community Loan Fund, we are now the full-time developer in Sunset Hills, like in our other communities, which will enable us to accelerate helping qualified families build their homes…” – Earl Pfeiffer, Executive Director, Florida Home Partnership
In west Florida’s rural communities there is a great need for affordable housing. Florida Home Partnership helps meet this need by building developments where the homeowners have a hands-on role in their neighborhood.
Florida Home Partnership, a west Florida nonprofit founded in 1993, is committed to keeping housing affordable, and has won awards for implementing the USDA Self-Help model where homeowners contribute a minimum of 600 hours of “sweat equity” labor to help build their homes and the homes of their future neighbors in a newly established community.
Sunset Hills subdivision, near Dade City in rural Pasco County, will offer 63 new single-family homes to help alleviate the affordable housing need. The Self-Help model is the basis for construction in Sunset Hills, helping many families who might otherwise not be able to afford a home. Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) provided $733,000 in financing to Florida Home Partnership to assume ownership of the Sunset Hills subdivision. In conjunction with funds from Pasco County, FCLF previously provided loans to Tampa Bay CDC, the original land owners, for development of the subdivision’s infrastructure.. Florida Home Partnership has also upgraded the subdivision with a community center, playground, additional landscaping, and fencing. All construction will be certified to meet green building standards, which qualifies Florida Home Partnership for a lower interest rate on its FCLF loan.
With a second loan from FCLF, Florida Home Partnership will construct a community center in its Bayou Pass neighborhood, located near Ruskin in rural Hillsborough County – reported to be the fastest growing community in Hillsborough County. Also built using the Self-Help model, Bayou Pass consists of 303 homes. The community center will offer a spot for the neighbors to gather, hold neighborhood association meetings and other community events, and take advantage of the exercise room, swimming pool and playground. Through a partnership with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department, the center also offers a small office and meeting space for deputies, which provides an extra element of security for the community. As in all Florida Home Partnership neighborhoods, employment in newly created positions is offered first to residents; as a result, over 50% of current staff members have come through the Self-Help ownership program. Bayou Pass community center will meet Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) standards, including water conservation, qualifying this loan for a reduced interest rate from FCLF.
Neighborhoods like Sunset Hills and Bayou Pass offer affordable homes for ownership to low-income families making 80% or less of area median income. They also have an economic impact by providing stable development, expanding the tax base, improving the surrounding community, providing employment for local residents, and increasing momentum for change.
Learn more at www.flhome.org
Pictured above, exterior of a community center similar to what will be built at Bayou Pass. Below, typical self-help model home, exterior and interior.