Fairlawn Village Brings Affordable Housing to Mercy Drive

The November 17th groundbreaking for Fairlawn Village promises a 116-unit affordable housing complex located at 1014 Mercy Drive in Orlando. Fairlawn Village will be available to residents with incomes less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 20 units will be designed as permanent supportive housing with casework services for people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, people with a disability, and youth aging out of foster care.

It will include a clubhouse that is over 2,600 square feet, a playground, walk-in closets, free parking, financial management program, literacy training, and an employment assistance program. The $24 million dollar project is expected to be completed in April 2022.

“At Fairlawn Village, Blue Sky is responding to what the City of Orlando hoped for, and what the families of Mercy Drive needed- new high-quality apartments with nice ponds, a fountain, and a piece of neighborhood art that will make everyone proud,” said Blue Sky Communities President and CEO, Shawn Wilson.

Five years ago, the City of Orlando purchased several blighted apartment buildings on Mercy Drive. The apartment buildings, Peppertree Shores and Peppertree Circle, had been foreclosed on by Fannie Mae. The City demolished those buildings. Two years ago, the City selected Blue Sky Communities to redevelop the sites as brand new affordable rental housing. They provided Blue Sky with the land, as well as a HOME loan.

lue Sky then earned funding through the highly competitive Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s SAIL program. They combined this funding with FHFC Tax Exempt Bonds, a 4% Housing Credit Equity from Raymond James Tax Credit funds, and a loan from JP Morgan Chase in order to finance the complex.

“Fairlawn Village will bring needed affordable housing to Orlando and provide local senior residents and families in need with a place to call home,” said Tammy Haylock-Moore, Executive Director, Community Development Banking at Chase. “Chase is proud to partner with Blue Sky Communities, CASL and the City of Orlando on this project which will also provide valuable financial education and employment assistance programs. We are eager to see this great example of a public-private partnership come to life.”

Partner, CASL stepped up to provide services to 20 Special Needs households that will move in. Scott Eller, President/CEO spoke about the formation of CASL and how their partnership with Blue Sky Communities meets CASL’s mission to provide safe, affordable, and supportive housing for adults with disabilities.

“I’d first like to start off by thanking Blue Sky Communities for their incredible partnership in building a new thriving community for Orlando residents to call home.” said Ms. Renthia Jackson, Senior VP of Client Management for Aetna, A CVS Health company. “I grew up not too far from here in a neighborhood called Richmond Estates, and while a lot has changed in Orlando since I was a little girl, the need for affordable housing has not. Aetna and CVS Health are committed to positively changing the healthcare system and addressing the social determinates of health, all the factors that affect a person’s life expectancy, such as affordable housing.”


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