News & Information: REALTOR® News

Orlando REALTORS® close on lots donated by City of Orlando for veteran housing initiative

Friday, December 12, 2014  
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Every year, Orlando REALTORS® celebrate many thousands of real estate closings with new homeowners. Today, Orlando REALTORS® are celebrating the closing on six vacant lots donated to the Florida Real Estate Foundation by the City of Orlando.

The Florida Real Estate Foundation is the charitable arm of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association.

The lots are located in the Parramore neighborhood in Orlando and will be transformed into Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park, a "village” that will center around six detached, single-family homes. The homes will be donated to income-qualified military veterans.

"The foundation and its project partners are grateful to the Orlando City Council for their donation of the six lots,” says REALTOR® Beverly Evans, of Axel Real Estate, Inc., and chairman of the Florida Real Estate Foundation. “By removing the cost of the land, the city’s donation will directly contribute to the homes’ affordability and has helped enormously in getting this project off the ground.”

 “Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park is the first of what we hope will be many single family housing developments coming out of the ground in downtown Orlando,” says Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The city is honored to partner with the Florida Real Estate Foundation by donating six contiguous residential lots that will provide the impetus to redevelopment of the residential corridor along the west entryway to downtown Orlando.”

“For many of us, this project is especially exciting as it provides an excellent opportunity for the City of Orlando to partner with the private sector in recognizing the sacrifice and service of deserving veteran families,” continues Dyer. “The Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park initiative will go a long way in continuing our efforts to make Orlando a most welcoming city for veterans when they relocate to Florida.”

Future Homeowners

The primary goal of Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park is to provide homes to (in order of priority):

  • Income-qualified, disabled veterans from any branch of the United States Armed Forces;
  • Income-qualified veterans; or
  • Income-qualified City of Orlando and Orange County public safety employees*.

"The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is honored to offer homeownership to those who have served,” says ORRA Chairman Zola Szerencses, Keller Williams Heritage Realty. "The service men and women who defend our country and our way of life are also defending the American dream of homeownership, for which REALTORS® are grateful.”

Future homeowners will have access to supportive social services that ease the transition to civilian life. Customized services related to mental health, physical health, and education will be available for as long as they are needed.

Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) of Central Florida has once again partnered with the foundation to handle qualifying potential homeowners and ensuring that they fulfill the project’s income and education requirements.

A military veteran who is interested in becoming a Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park homeowner can contact HANDS by visiting calling 407.447.5686.


Florida Real Estate Foundation’s Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park Project Partners:
American Institute of Architects, Orlando Chapter / American Legion / Camaraderie Foundation / Central Florida Urban League / City of Orlando / Dr. Phillips Charities/ Fair Housing Continuum, Inc. / Florida REALTORS® / Greater Orlando Builders Association / Housing and Neighborhood Development Services of Central Florida, Inc. / National Association of REALTORS® / Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association / SunTrust Bank / Wells Fargo

Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park is a project of the Florida Real Estate Foundation, the charitable arm of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. The project is part of FREF’s “Art in Architecture” program, which collaborates with local architects, builders, lenders, housing organizations, and municipalities to create affordable housing opportunities.

The Florida Real Estate Foundation was created by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association in 2005 to address Central Florida’s critical need for affordable, workforce housing.

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association represents more than 9,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida.

ORRA Partners
ORRA would like to thank our Partners for their continuing support.
View the full list of ORRA Partners.