East Gainesville land is at risk of possible development

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 11:26 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A three story apartment complex could be on the way to an East Gainesville neighborhood, and many residents are not happy about it.

Ability Housing, a low income housing program, hopes to build the complex on the vacant land at SE 8th Ave. and 15th St.

“We want people to have a safe affordable home but we just don’t want 96 units,” said Evelyn Foxx, Alachua County NAACP President.

Ability Housing aims to help “families and individuals with a disability and/or those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

“There was a lot of fear because it was said that this was a project for homeless,” said Doris Edwards, Chair of Lincoln Estate neighborhood.

Although Ability Housing’s website says this is one of their missions, according to Edwards, the developer said that is not true.

“They’re saying that was a misconception, we never should’ve gotten that information. They’re wanting to do something a lot better, much nicer, and some awesome amenities,” said Edwards.

Foxx said she feels county commissioners are not handling this the way they should.

“They did this without any community input,” said Foxx. “We’re having these meetings after the fact.”

But one county commissioner said since they haven’t voted on this yet, it is not accurate to say this was approved without community input.

“All we did was approve the amount of money that would be available for projects,” said Charles Chestnut, Alachua County Commissioner.

As it stands now, funds are available for any developer who wants to apply for them.

“Ability Housing has applied for it, so now they’re coming before the commission with it,” said Chestnut.

The county commission is set to hear a presentation from Ability Housing at the commission meeting on September 13th.

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