Published Wednesday, April 19, 2023

We were thrilled to have hosted the groundbreaking celebration for our new senior housing complex, Buen Vecino Apartments, in Buenaventura Lakes last week.

On April 11, the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) and its board members, residents of the Osceola community, US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) administrators, elected officials, Osceola County representatives and the City of Kissimmee hosted a celebratory groundbreaking for our upcoming BVL housing development. The project will consist of 61 bedroom apartments for low-income seniors.

With plans for completion in late 2024 or early 2025, the complex on six acres of land on Competition Drive will include, along with the apartments, a clubhouse to host congregate dining, an onsite community service coordinator for community resources, social activities, a computer lab, and an exercise facility.

The units will be about 600 square feet, with the option of one or two tenants per apartment. Leasing contracts will be for annual occupancy, with no application fee, and pets are welcome.

You may remember, after an extensive (and competitive) national application process, the announcement was made last fall that the OCOA would be the only social service organization in the state of Florida to become the recipient of a $5.6 million grant from HUD. In addition to the HUD investment, Osceola County agreed to invest another $5.2 million, and the City of Kissimmee added an additional $500,000, for this much needed project.

While the OCOA already owns the property on which the new development will reside, we also will oversee, manage, and operate all aspects of the new residential facility.

“The OCOA Housing Management department’s primary mission is to provide affordable housing to community residents,” said Angelica Rodriguez, OCOA VP of Housing. “This new property in BVL is the perfect solution to support additional residents to help balance the demand of rising rental costs.”

The “project-based rent assisted” development will allow tenants to pay rent based on their individual income. The rent will be HUD subsidized, with residents paying only 30 percent of their income for rent. To qualify, individuals must be 62 years or older, have an income at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), which averages about $29,000 annually for one person.

After the groundbreaking event, the OCOA hosted a family and senior resource expo on our Kissimmee campus. We want to thank all vendors who participated, including Advent Health, Career Source, Connection Church, City of Kissimmee, Florida Blue, HCA Healthcare, Florida Department of Health Osceola County, Help Now, HOME, KPD, Osceola County Clerk’s Office, South State Bank, Transition House, and VITAS Healthcare, to name a few.

This project is one more crucial step forward in supporting OCOA’s mission of enabling independence and self-sufficiency for our senior clients.

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