Two Central Florida military veterans became new homeowners today, each the recipient of a mortgage-free home provided by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation and its Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park housing initiative project partners.
Ultimately, six local veterans will be gifted with a home designed and built as part of a volunteer collaboration and situated on land donated by the City of Orlando.
A dedication ceremony was held at the homes' location in downtown Orlando's historic Parramore neighborhood. The event featured remarks from foundation Chair Kathleen Gallagher McIver and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
“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,” said Orlando REALTOR® Gallagher McIver, RE/MAX Central Realty. “Our Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park veterans’ housing initiative would have never gotten off the ground without the generous support and hard work of the project’s many partners. We can never repay our military men and women for their sacrifice and service, but we hope that the gift of homeownership through the Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park initiative can be a small token of our appreciation.”
"I am proud of the Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park development. It is a shining example of how government, business and community have come together," added Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "Thank you to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation and the many partners who raised the money, donated their services and materials, and contributed their professional expertise to build these beautiful homes for our heroes."
City of Orlando District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill also offered remarks: "Heroes' Commons at Jefferson Park is especially meaningful to me. As a veteran, I am proud to see local veterans who have served our county with honor and courage be recognized for their service with homeownership."
Event attendees had the opportunity to talk with the project's volunteer architects and builders, congratulate the new owners and their families, and walk through the construction site. Two of the homes that are near completion were available for viewing.
Heroes' Commons at Jefferson Park
Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park is an initiative of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation, the charitable arm of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. The project 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.
Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park will be a small “village” of six single-family homes in the Parramore neighborhood and assumes an important role in the revitalization of downtown Orlando’s historic Parramore neighborhood. The homes will each be provided mortgage-free to income-qualified military veterans, who were chosen by a selection committee and will also be provided with supportive social services to ease the transition to civilian life.
Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park Project Partners
Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation | City of Orlando | Housing and Neighborhood Development Services of Central Florida, Inc. | American institute of Architects, Orlando Chapter | Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association | Greater Orlando Builders Association | Wells Fargo Bank | Dr. Phillips Charities | Fair Housing Continuum, Inc. | Suntrust Foundation | Arthur & Beverly Evans | Bill Watson / Watson Realty Corp. | Coldwell Banker CARES | Florida REALTORS® | Harry H. Hansbrough Charitable Foundation | Kathleen Gallagher McIver | Martin Andersen – Gracia Andersen Foundation | National Association of REALTORS® | Real Estate Closing Solutions | TD Charitable Trust
Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation
The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state of Florida and represents more than 12,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida. It’s charitable arm, the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation, was created to address Central Florida’s critical need for affordable, workforce housing. Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation was formerly named the Florida Real Estate Foundation.