Alachua County Commission reconsiders ability housing in southeast Gainesville

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 10:34 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County commissioners moved forward with the ability housing proposal for Dogwood Village but voted unanimously to possibly move the project to another location.

“They’re going to go to Florida Housing Finance Corporation and see if its an option to move the site,” said President of Ability Housing, Shannon Nazworth. “And if it is, then we’ll work with Florida Housing to find out what those perimeters are.”

Although residents said they are for affordable housing, they demanded that the location of the 96-unit apartment building be reconsidered.

“They have all said that they want to help people, but they don’t want to have that facility right in that one location,” shared resident Wayne Fields.

Fields said city staff concluded that 89% of residents in east Gainesville are renters and 11% are homeowners.

He believes adding this development, will make it difficult to bring amenities to the area.

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“Grocery stores, such as restaurants, such as insurance companies, commercial property,” said Fields. “But as long as we only have 11% we’ll never have those commercial amenities in east Gainesville.”

Nazworth said affordable housing would be for working families.

“I think my biggest concern is one of the commissioners said it, every neighborhood is gonna come out against affordable housing,” stated Nazworth. It’s a false reputation.”

She believes housing will remain an ongoing issue.

“We all know how much Alachua County really needs affordable housing and we’re gonna have to come up with a strategy to help people understand that it’s okay to have it in their neighborhood,” concluded Nazworth.

The county’s goal is to hear back from the state in the next 30 days.

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