Mayor Alvin Brown led a dedication ceremony Tuesday to congratulate Ability Housing of Northeast Florida for its project to convert a foreclosed apartment complex into Renaissance Village, a 52-unit affordable rental community at 3140 Franklin St. focused on preventing homelessness.
"Ability Housing is helping to push the needle forward on an important issue in Jacksonville," Brown said. "I'm proud of all the hard work that went into the Renaissance Village project, not just because it gives us another strong option to help people in need, but because the redevelopment of the complex will increase value for the surrounding community. 'Renaissance' is a fitting description, as we're seeing opportunity on several different levels here."
During the dedication, TD Bank presented Ability Housing with a check for $100,000 to aide in the building of these multi-family housing units. The grant was part of the TD Charitable Foundation's Housing For Everyone initiative, which awarded 25 grants of $100,000 to organizations that support transitional and homeless housing projects from Maine to Florida. Ability Housing is one of three Florida organizations to win a grant.
"As the only nonprofit in our community dedicated to providing permanent solutions for families facing homelessness, we are delighted to receive the support of the Mayor, the City's Neighborhood Stabilization Program and TD Bank," said Shannon Nazworth, Ability Housing Executive Director. "Today 138 people including 76 children under the age of 18 have a safe affordable home at Renaissance Village because of their support. We are very grateful."
The project was financed with a grant from the City of Jacksonville's Neighborhood Stabilization Program. NSP funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is designed to purchase foreclosed properties in certain ZIP codes, renovate and/or rebuild them, and sell or rent them to qualified affordable housing individuals/families.
Brown commended Ability Housing and the countless people behind the project from various organizations, saying that quality housing helps to support quality of life. The project falls in line with the mayor's recent announcement to partner with City Rescue Mission on a pilot project for a downtown, daytime homeless center.