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Housing and Dreams Delayed

Vacant commercial properties transformed into affordable living and workspaces

Vacant commercial properties transformed into affordable living and workspaces

MultiplefamilyEcon Opp

Florida Housing Coalition

Tampa, FL

Can vacant commercial real estate be repurposed into affordable housing and workspace to improve job outcomes and economic opportunities for low-income residents?

The project with Florida Housing Coalition (FHC) addressed the lack of affordable housing and entrepreneurial spaces or makerspaces in low-income communities by developing a replicable model for the reuse of vacant commercial space for co-housing and co-working to advance local economies and stabilize housing costs.

With a contract award from Fannie Mae, the FHC team was able to:

  • Research five major metropolitan areas to understand the housing and workspace needs for low-income individuals and families.
  • Catalogue financing vehicles available to fund renovations of vacant commercial space.
  • Produce a comprehensive guidebook, Eyesore to Asset, on reusing vacant commercial spaces to increase affordable housing and promote economic opportunity in low-income communities.

By the end of the contract with Fannie Mae, FHC had developed a comprehensive guidebook and connected with the International Council of Shopping Centers. FHC continues to leverage the analysis and findings detailed in their guidebook to secure and adapt vacant commercial properties.

Watch the video to see how Florida Housing Coalition is thinking about the potential for vacant commercial spaces.

The Florida Housing Coalition, Inc., is a nonprofit, statewide membership organization whose mission is to bring together housing advocates and resources so that all residents have a quality affordable home and suitable living environment. Their mission is focused on supporting the expansion of affordable housing opportunities in high-need, housing insecure communities across the state, bolstered by efforts around supporting sustainable building practices.

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