January 17, 2006
SARASOTA HOUSING AUTHORITY AND HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SARASOTA SIGN AGREEMENT TO BRING AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO CITY
HACS to get $750,000 for remainder of Cohen Way
SARASOTA - The Housing Authority of the City of Sarasota (HACS) and the Sarasota affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, Inc. signed an agreement today that will develop 50 or more new homes in the city for low- to moderate-income families.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Receiver Carmen Valenti and HACS Executive Director William Russell joined Mike Jacobson, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to sell the remaining 36 units at the Cohen Way public housing development to Habitat for Humanity Sarasota for $750,000.
"This agreement means a new beginning for more Sarasota families," said Russell. "Thanks to this new partnership between HACS and Habitat more low-income families will have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream of homeownership."
"This marks the beginning of the end of concentrated low-income communities and the beginning of the creation of vibrant, viable mixed-income neighborhoods," said Valenti. "This agreement is a prime example of the kind of housing transformation HUD promised it would give Sarasota's low-income residents when the agency assumed control last spring."
HUD put HACS under receivership in April 2005 citing mismanagement and poor physical condition of its public housing units. Since HACS is under federal receivership, HUD had to approve the transaction. The proceeds from this deal will provide necessary resources for HACS, which is poised to use these funds to redevelop its mixed-income sites in Newtown.
Under the MOA, HACS agrees to sell the remaining portion of the Cohen Way public housing development to Habitat for Humanity Sarasota and its partners to build 50 or more homes that would be sold to low- to moderate-income families. This would include families at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
SHA began six years ago rehabilitating the 72 aging units at Cohen Way to make them available for sale to low-income families. Under the first phase, SHA rehabbed 36 units, of which 18 have been sold and the other 18 will be sold shortly. Under this agreement, HACS will sell the remaining 36 units to Habitat for Humanity Sarasota for $750,000. Habitat and its partners agree to develop housing that will be compatible to housing in the area and sell the new units to qualified families.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation?s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.