Team effort preserves affordable housing
Oakland Terrace, a subsidized rental housing complex located in a distressed Jacksonville neighborhood, has been home to 60 families for decades. Built in 1973, it had seen better days, was slowly deteriorating, and was in danger of being closed.
By 2009 the conditions weren't appropriate and HUD could no longer allow residents to live in the units. While alternatives were being considered, Jacksonville-based, nonprofit housing developer, Ability Housing of Northeast Florida presented a plan to renovate the units. Working with the owner and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the HUD-Jacksonville team was able to preserve the Section 8 contract that provides affordable housing to the area and, by the end of this year the apartments will be ready. While the renovations take place, the tenants are living in alternative housing, getting ready to return home, to a brand new chapter.
The "new" Oakland Terrace will feature new kitchen, bathroom cabinets and countertops; plumbing fixtures, and units will be wired for high-speed Internet access. Property improvements also include a new roof, windows; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; laundry facilities, a community center, library, computer lab and playground.
Residents will also have access to literacy training, employment assistance programs, community activities and financial counseling. Oakland Terrace will be a "center of gravity" in the middle of Jacksonville's Eastside neighborhood. It will be a core part of that area and a small community within itself.