ORLANDO, Fla. — After Orange County Commission members voted to approve funding for two housing projects, the hope is there will be some new affordable housing units in the county come 2024. 

Commissioners approved financing for two different projects on the west side of the county: the improvement of Silver Lakes Villages apartments and the construction of Barnett Villas.

What You Need To Know

  • A new 156-unit affordable rental housing complex is planned for the Barnett Park area of Orange County

  • A second housing project will see improvements made to Silver Lakes Villages in Rosemont

  • According to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, only 17 affordable rental units are currently available for every 100 low-income households in Central Florida

Barnett Villas, a 156-unit affordable rental housing complex, is planned for the area near Barnett Park in Orlando. The project expected to be completed by October 2024.

The other location, Silver Lakes Villages in Rosemont, is an existing 104-unit complex that will be improved for used by low-income seniors.

Patrice Sanders, soon to be a mother of five, lives in an affordable housing complex along Mercy Drive with a Section 8 voucher. She said it took nearly a year to secure a unit for her family.

“They didn’t want to accept my voucher,” Sanders said. “Then it was a credit score. They didn’t accept a credit score lower than 600.”

According to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, there are only 17 affordable rental units available for every 100 low-income households in Central Florida.

That’s a statistic Sanders admits she was shocked to hear when going through the process of trying to find a place to live.

“I was expecting that maybe it was easier once you have help to help you look for a place like that,” she said. “But no, it was very hard.”

County commissioners approved $13.5 million to purchase and fix up the Silver Lakes Villages apartments. The complex in the Rosemont area is for low-income seniors 62 and older.

More than $9 million is going to Barnett Villas project.

Sanders, whose household will soon include seven people, currently lives in a 3-bedroom unit that goes for about $1,300 a month. She said she doesn’t know where she would be if she didn't have her current apartment.

According to information from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average rent for just a one-bedroom apartment in Florida is about $1,300 a month — a three-bedroom unit like Sanders' is about $2,000.

The National Low Income Housing Corporation recently released some data on affordable housing.

The annual income needed to afford a two bedroom in apartment in Florida right now is about $65,000 dollars.