Just under seven months from the groundbreaking, the nonprofit arm of the Gainesville Housing Authority opened two new housing units on Wednesday off of SW 8th Avenue for low income elderly, disabled or veteran families.
The Gainesville Housing Development Management Corporation (GHDMC) received the wooded lot from Mitchell Realty in 2016 and held a groundbreaking on the empty lot in August 2021.
Both units have two bedrooms and two baths and represent the fourth and fifth new units for the nonprofit. The housing authority tasked GHDMC with creating 500 units in five years, starting in 2020.
Those units include the five new facilities as well as housing that low income families afford through vouchers. So far, GHDMC has kept ahead of schedule with roughly 170 units.
Off of SW 8th Avenue, construction got a rocky start when workers found boulders and other subterranean issues.
“We found a lot of things on this project that were not normal,” said Michael Beard, president of Elevated Design & Construction. “This wasn’t just a smooth project.”
Finding workers also caused some issues, Beard said, especially ones who could produce up to the housing authority standard. But the project still finished on budget.
Michael Kiner, vice president at GHDMC, said staying within budgets is critical for affordable housing projects to continue making the product available.
The nonprofit has other projects moving forward including the Lincoln Ventures Partnership, a mixed use development with 10 percent affordable housing.
GHDMC is also working to build a facility that will help residents with job training in order to earn higher salaries and better afford housing.
The housing authority has also moved toward a closer relationship with the City of Gainesville, who started the organization in 1966. The two entered a memorandum of understanding in January.