LAKE WORTH, Fla., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, along with its eighteen Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 Consortium Partners, is proud to announce that it has successfully expended more than 100% of its $23,237,500 grant within the three year grant period ending February 11, 2013.
While giving its residential Target Area a considerable aesthetic facelift, assuring affordable home ownership and rental opportunities to its beneficiary families, the target area has been relieved of many destabilizing elements to include dilapidated and illegally-partitioned homes, and foreclosed and vacant structures serving as havens for illegal activity.
The Consortium's efforts lead to hundreds of contracts with local businesses while creating/saving more than two hundred (200) full time equivalent jobs over the grant period. In keeping with requirements to show preferences to low income residents (earning not more than 80% of the Area Median Income) the Consortium expended more than twenty-six percent (26%) of eligible subcontracting dollars with Section 3 businesses and residents, greatly exceeding the HUD goal of ten percent (10%). Additionally, the Consortium provided counseling and training opportunities for interested businesses and residents, resulting in sixteen individuals, including five Section 3 residents receiving certificates in Green Building Techniques from Palm Beach State University.
By the grant end date, the Consortium had rehabilitated or constructed ninety-seven (97) housing units, composed of seventy three (73) homes for sale and twenty four (24) rentals, while acquiring sufficient properties to output and additional fourteen (14) properties over the next couple of years. The grant also was able to provide for much needed City infrastructure including new water, sewer and gas lines and sidewalks where previously none existed.The CRA's signature project, the Arts Lofts, is now complete. These for-sale units contain up to 2650 sq ft of livable space which includes a downstairs work studio and an upstairs living area in the heart of downtown Lake Worth. Further, the Consortium was able to facilitate the upcoming development of a 55-unit affordable, green building rental development, not only to help alleviate the area's need for safe, affordable rental housing, but to use land which has long been vacant and underutilized property on one of the City's Gateways. Collectively, the Consortium has removed approximately one hundred (100) foreclosed properties from the County's backlog, putting as many as one hundred forty two (142) housing units back on the tax rolls, while affecting a total of one hundred sixty six (166) properties, greatly exceeding its goal of one hundred (100) housing units and thirty (30) land banks.