Future Of The 400 Building
GAINESVILLE - The fate of the "400 Building" is no longer on the line. The Gainesville building which houses disabled residents has been running at a loss for the past few years and many residents worried about the outcome. However they won't have to, at least not for the next 20 years.
And that's because the company buying the "400 Building" has agreed to keep the facility affordable until 2033. The "400 Building" had an outstanding bill of more than one million dollars that came with the purchase once the Gainesville Housing Authority aquired it from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation in 2010. GHA couldn't handle the debt any longer and this is why they chose to sell it. This is why the disabled people in the facility worried about having to find a new place to live, however these residents will have to worry no more.
Jerome Lewis is one of the residents who has worried for a year now about the future of the "400 Building," his home. "I was kind of apprehensive... I was concerned," Lewis said.
The "400 Building" which houses at least 150 disabled residents at a low cost, had been running at a loss for the past few years. It came to a point where the building was going to be refinanced or sold. Regardless Lewis worried about his neighbors; those bound by wheel chairs and what their situation would become if they had to get up and go.
"I think it's a good thing. It's less of a concern about the mobility. Moving and moving out... Finding a place to live and this place is going to be secure for the next 20 years," Lewis said. That's right 20 years. The building is being sold to South Port Financial Services Inc for 2.1 million dollars and they've agreed to keep the building affordable for those in need within the next 20 years.
Pamela Davis the Executive Director for the Gainesville Housing Authority, which runs the building said, "They're in at least 18 states. They're based out of Tampa... They have 25 affordable housing projects here in the state of florida... So this is not a new business for them."
For the buyer the closing deadline is August 15th. The new owners are currently doing all of the paperwork and required contracts. The goal was to sustain affordability for those caught in the middle, Davis said. "And we wanted to make sure that the purchaser was going to preserve the affordable housing and to make sure that our residents were not impacted in a negative way. That the residents would remain intact and that there would be no problems for them as well," Davis added.
The residents will have no change in rent, as long as they follow normal procedures by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. South Port has also agreed to take on necessary repairs and major renovations to the facility in the future.
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