SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed to chip in $1.5 million to help rebuild Redding Gardens in Sanford. Redding Gardens was a federal housing complex for seniors that was torn down in 2011, because of substandard living conditions.
City Commissioner Velma Williams celebrated by repeating "hallelujah!" She added, "Affordable housing is indeed needed for our citizens."
For five-and-a-half years, the block sat empty, but Congresswoman Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, was patient. "Yes, but it was how many years? Twenty some years? I mean, I am happy we are here today."
She is referring to the troubles at the Sanford Housing Authority, taken over by HUD 13 years ago, and now in the hands of the Orlando Housing Authority. Congresswoman Brown is promising a better place to leave with at least 100 units and some bells and whistles. "I want to make sure that they have a computer room, they have the pools for exercise. It is going to be the kind of place that any of us would want to live in."
It's also a place developers will be willing to build with as much as $15 million being available in tax credits, including the $1.5 million HUD is putting in up front. The building won't be there any time soon.
The City of Sanford is planning months of public meetings to try and figure out exactly what residents want there.