The City of Lake Wales Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) added more housing to the historic Northwest Neighborhood completing Keystone Challenge Fund Phase Two of the city’s affordable housing program.
The City partnered with Keystone to build two additional houses on B Street. The new houses complement the adjacent homes that were developed in the Keystone Phase One initiative.
“Connecting people with quality affordable homes is what it’s all about,” Darrell Starling, CRA Project Manager said. “We already have buyers interested in the new homes,” Starling noted.
The first two phases of the Keystone initiative were made possible by the partnerships between the City, CRA, Polk County Housing and Neighborhood Development and SouthState Bank.
Keystone Phase Three is now in the works. The success of the first two phases fueled a third round of new houses ticketed for vacant parcels of land on A Street between Lincoln Avenue and J.A. Wiltshire Avenue.
The Keystone initiative helped unleash the potential for more redevelopment, including investment from a number of private developers.
“Keystone lit the match that ignited the spark, and now the private sector is responding quickly. I can think of five developers right now who are either submitting permits or conducting surveys. We have a lot of activity that’s in motion,” Starling added.
“Our plans to revitalize the Northwest Neighborhood, including our affordable housing program are reshaping the Northwest Neighborhood,” City Manager James Slaton said.
The Keystone Challenge Fund, a Lakeland based non-profit founded more than 30 years ago has helped more than 4,000 area families find affordable housing. Funding through the partnerships keeps mortgage payments at a reasonable rate for homebuyers, officials explained.