The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation has been honored with an Award of Excellence from the 2016 Orange County Sustainable Development Awards.
The foundation is the charitable arm of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, which as the nation’s 10th largest local REALTOR® organization represents more than 12,500 Central Florida real estate professionals. The mission of Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation is to address the area’s critical need for affordable, workforce housing.
The county accolade recognizes the foundation’s Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park housing initiative. Upon completion, the initiative will provide six mortgage-free homes, located in a redeveloped section of the Parramore area in downtown Orlando, to local veterans and their families.
“The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation is committed to creating homeownership opportunities for veterans, in addition to the first responders, educators, and others who form the backbone of the Central Florida workforce,” says Orlando REALTOR® and Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation Chairman Kathleen Gallagher McIver, RE/MAX Central Realty. “We can never repay our military men and women and their families for their sacrifice and service to our country, but we hope that the gift of homeownership through the Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park initiative can be a small token of our appreciation.”
In addition to providing homes and support services to veterans, the Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park project is intended to stimulate the revitalization of owner-occupied housing in the Parramore community.
The 2016 Orange County Sustainable Development Awards program recognizes projects that display excellence in sustainable design and development. The award presented to Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation falls under the program’s “Infill or Redevelopment” category, which is for those projects that demonstrate a “recycling” of land within the boundaries of existing infrastructure systems. Judging considerations include:
*Development of an underutilized property;
*Cleanup of environmental contamination;
*Preservation of historic structures;
*Incorporation of affordable housings;
*Community involvement in planning and design; and
Heroes’ Commons At Jefferson Park
Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park is part of the foundation’s Art in Architecture program, which collaborates with local architects, builders, lenders, housing organizations, and municipalities to create affordable housing opportunities. Upon completion, Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park will be a “village” of six single-family, ADA compliant detached homes.
Each house in this collaborative project is designed to incorporate unique architectural elements and flexible floorplans that can suit 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 homes’ architects also used the concept of shared garages to maximize the green space within the project.
A recipient for each of the six Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park homes has been chosen. The homeowners-to-be were required to meet certain financial counseling and income requirements, and were determined 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.
Visit orlandorealtorsfoundation.org for more information about Heroes’ Commons At Jefferson Park, to make a donation, and to view a list of project donors.