News & Information: Media Releases

ORRA foundation to break ground on first Heroes' Commons home

Monday, April 27, 2015  
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The Florida Real Estate Foundation (FREF), the charitable arm of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, and the City of Orlando are proud to announce that they will break ground on April 29 on Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park, a housing development for local military veterans.

The foundation intends to donate six mortgage-free homes to income-qualified veterans.

“We can never repay our military men and women for their sacrifice and service, but we hope that the gift of homeownership can be a small token of our appreciation,” says Orlando REALTOR® and Florida Real Estate Foundation Chairman Beverly Evans. “We’ve been working on this project with the City of Orlando since 2013, and we are delighted to see it coming to fruition.”

The land for the Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park was donated by the City of Orlando. The planned “village” of six single-family, ADA compliant detached homes is located in the Parramore neighborhood off Benson Avenue, on the corner of Polk Street and Jefferson Street. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will deliver a speech at the groundbreaking about the importance of the project for the community, and will turn the dirt with all of the project partners.

“Being a city for everyone means ensuring Orlando is a place where individuals and families of all types of economic status can not just live but can enjoy life,” says Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “I am proud to join with the Florida Real Estate Foundation to further our efforts in providing our residents with access to affordable, safe housing as we break ground on the first house to be built as part of the Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park.”

“Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park would have never gotten off the ground without the generous support of our community partners,” adds Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President Sharon Voss. “It’s been so great to see everyone come together and combine our talents to give back to our veterans and their families.”

Local army veteran and first-time homeowner Keon Madison, his wife, and their four children will be the first to receive a mortgage-free home in Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park. His home is expected to be completed by early fall.

Each house in this collaborative project is designed to incorporate unique architectural elements and flexible floorplans that can fit the needs of an ill, injured or wounded veteran, if necessary. The homes are energy efficient, and built with environmentally friendly materials and appliances. The architects used the concept of shared garages to maximize the green space within the project.

All homeowners must meet certain financial counseling and income requirements, and are chosen by a selection committee. The veterans will receive access to supportive services to ease the transition from military life and into the role of a successful new homeowner.

Housing and Neighborhood Development Services of Central Florida (HANDS) is partnering with FREF to qualify all potential homeowners and to ensure the requirements are met. A military veteran or City of Orlando/Orange County public safety employee who is interested in becoming a Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park homeowner can contact HANDS by visiting its website or calling 407.447.5686.

About Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the Florida Real Estate Foundation

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state of Florida and represents more than 10,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida. In 2005 the association created the Florida Real Estate Foundation, in part, to provide an appropriate organizational structure to support its many community and charitable activities. This includes the award winning Art in Architecture housing program, which collaborates with local architects, builders and lenders to create affordable housing opportunities in Central Florida.

Media Contact:
Morgan Shepard
Uproar PR for ORRA

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