Finally: Mable Butler’s Dream gets underway with affordable housing groundbreaking


Former City of Orlando and Orange County Commissioner Mable Butler
Former City of Orlando and Orange County Commissioner Mable Butler

Named after Mable Butler, the first African-American woman to hold elected office in Orlando, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando broke ground on its second community in Central Florida – Butler’s Preserve on Friday. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer along with more than 100 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

Located in the West Orlando community of Greater Washington Shores, the nearly $8 million development will feature 51 single-family homes and four duplex units – slated for completion in 2018 (the first five homes will be competed in November 2014).

A longtime champion for affordable housing, Butler’s work as District 6 Orange County Commissioner was the driving force behind buying the property nearly 20 years ago.

“Bringing Mable’s dream to fruition is a major triumph for the Washington Shores area,” said Diane DiFebbo, board chair of Habitat of Greater Orlando. “Not only will we renew a once-abandoned piece of property, we will create an opportunity for 59 families to become homeowners.”

Butler’s Preserve is intended to be an example of “new urbanism” – a walkable community with green amenities and ENERGY STAR ®-rated appliances in each home. Many of the energy-efficient features will be sponsored by OUC – The Reliable One.

Wells Fargo will also play a role in supporting the community. Development of the site, including the installation of sidewalks and the extension of water and sewer lines, is being funded by a Priority Markets Initiative grant of $100,000 from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation.

For more information about Butler’s Preserve, visit



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