The air conditioning work is complete. Now it’s just down to adding a fresh coat of paint in time for six residents to move into Dunedin Housing Authority’s first public housing units in six years.
"It's been a long time coming," Audra Butler, spokeswoman for Dunedin Housing Authority, said.
Six public housing residents are scheduled to move into 30 Lady Mary Drive North on June 1, the day before the grand opening ceremony, and four more will likely follow soon after, said Robin Adams, asset management officer for the Housing Authority.
Last November, Dunedin Housing Authority , just over the Dunedin-Clearwater city border, for $730,000 and spent the past six months renovating them on a $150,000 budget.
Each building contains 10 units. The building at 30 Lady Mary Drive contains only public housing, and 110 Lady Mary Drive is split evenly between public and affordable housing.
The purchase came about five years after Dunedin’s last public and affordable housing units at Highlander Village were razed and sold to Habitat for Humanity, as part of a move to create more ideal and sustainable environments for residents and communities, Butler said.
"You don't concentrate poverty," she said, explaining Dunedin Housing Authority’s strategy to purchase smaller buildings that don’t overwhelm the maintenance staff and are more pleasing to smaller communities. “People don't want to live in large complexes. … And neighbors don't want them.”
Adams oversees all the housing properties and maintenance for Dunedin and St. Petersburg Housing Authorities. She said that the Housing Authority would wait to fill out the units at 110 Lady Mary until smoke alarms are hardwired and the outdoor staircase railing is replaced to meet fire code requirements. Smoke alarms are an easy fix, she said, and the railing should be replaced within four to six weeks.
Preferential placement is given to people who live or work in Dunedin, but only 20 percent of the 135 public housing applicants ( to May 24) were from Dunedin. The public housing wait list is now closed.
Five affordable housing units at 110 Lady Mary are still available. Those two-bedroom, one-bath units, Butler said, have a higher income limit and begin at $675 per month. Those interested can call the property management office for specials at 727-217-7253.