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Gainesville residents celebrate the completion of an affordable housing community

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s one step closer to the affordable future Alachua County commissioners have been working toward. Renovations are now complete at a new affordable housing community in East Gainesville.

“That’s what our county is committed to is making sure that we’re providing enough resources, financial resources, so that we can provide housing for those that need our help,” said Marihelen Wheeler, Alachua County Commissioner.

County officials partnered with real estate company Fairstead to renovate Sweetwater Square, while still keeping it affordable.

“It helps me a lot because sometimes you don’t have the money to live how you want to live,” said Tawanda Rochelle, who lives in the community.

The complex, which used to be known as Forest Apartments and Village Green Apartments, hadn’t been renovated since the 70′s.

“Everyone here got brand new apartment homes,” said Estelle Chan, Director of Development at Fairstead. “New kitchens, new bathroom, flooring, blinds, the works. It was like they were moving into a brand new home.”

Alachua County Commissioners funded $26.5 million dollars of the project through a block grant.

They said they’re thrilled to play a part in making this affordable housing community a reality, but their work isn’t done yet.

“We are of course committed to trying to get people off the streets, homeless folks into housing,” said Wheeler.

Residents said they have peace of mind knowing this is an affordable housing community.

“If I lose my job today or tomorrow my rent is nothing, so I love it,” said Rochelle.

Sweetwater Square has 200 units but 198 of them are already filled.

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