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HUD   >   State Information   >   Florida   >   Stories   >   2013-11-01
Alexander Woods: From Ugly Duckling to Swan

Plant City had an eyesore called Alexander Woods. A partially built community abandoned by its developer in the midst of the housing crisis was a daily painful reminder of the recent recession.

It took a long time, creative thinking and a strong partnership between Florida Home Partnership, Hillsborough County, Affordable Housing Services, and HUD - with funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, but finally Alexander Woods has come to life this year.

Dust, debris and overgrown grass have been replaced by townhouses. And the results are not just pleasing to the passersby and the neighbors. Hillsborough County's Planning Commission announced in October the winners of the 31st Annual Planning & Design Awards, and Alexander Woods Townhomes received an Award of Excellence. The award was given due to its "Unique workforce housing requiring minimal maintenance provided in proximity to jobs and schools, as well as the use of this type of funding for something other than single family homes."

The community is composed of 80 townhouses with a playground, clubhouse/community center, picnic area, and swimming pool. Each unit has energy efficient appliances, 9-foot ceilings, and spacious design. Since it was conceived as affordable housing, prospective buyers must meet eligibility requirements. Those interested begin with attending a homebuyer education class; annual household earnings can't exceed 120% of the area median income; and new the owners must occupy the property as primary residence.