Nearly $1.6 million in Community Development Block Grant Funds are helping to create more affordable housing in Polk through three projects in Lakeland and Lake Wales.

And while the funds were given to specific projects and organizations, the funds for those projects are managed through Polk County’s Housing and Neighborhood Development office.

And while the funds were given to specific projects and organizations, the funds for those projects are managed through Polk County’s Housing and Neighborhood Development office.

The Vermont Place Apartments in Lakeland, which is a project of Talbot House Ministries that received about $125,000 in funding, includes 16 apartment units for low- and very-low income working adults, veterans and the disabled.

Gospel Inc. received $1 million in funding for a mobile home and cottage project in Lakeland called Gospel Village. The former mobile home park is being turned into a housing and work community for those who are experiencing homelessness.

Four new homes are also slated for construction in Lake Wales through a contract with Keystone Challenge Fund, which received about $490,000 in funding for the project. This new construction will add four, three-bedroom, two-bath homes on B Street in Lake Wales.

In the coming year, Housing and Neighborhood Development will use federal and state grants to support and create affordable housing for more Polk residents.

Housing and Neighborhood Development manages and supports affordable housing grant-based programs to:

  • Facilitate affordable housing incentives such as impact fee waivers and demolition lien waivers on vacant lots when developed for affordable housing;
  • Encourage public-private partnerships in support of affordable rental and single-family development through grant loans and local government contributions;
  • Provide new HOME American Rescue Plan funds slated for development of housing for the homeless and low-income residents;
  • Collaborate with other Polk County divisions to support projects in the low-income areas of our county; and
  • Work with the new Homeowner Assistance Fund part of the American Rescue Plan to provide financial support to homeowners facing hardship due to the pandemic.

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