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$23 million affordable housing project breaks ground in Polk County

The project is aimed at high-need families, and developers says rents will range from $402 to $964 per month.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 3:00 p.m. February 19, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Construction has begun on Jersey Commons, an affordable housing community in Polk County.
Construction has begun on Jersey Commons, an affordable housing community in Polk County.
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Construction has started on a new $23 million affordable housing development in Polk County.

The community, Jersey Commons, is at 2817 Jersey Road NW in Winter Haven.

The St. Petersburg developer behind the project, Blue Sky Communities, says the community when done will be made up of three buildings with a total of 68 one- and two-bedroom units. Rents will range from $402 per month to $964 per month based on the Area Median Income limits of 30%, 50% and 60%, says Blue Sky.

The prolific affordable housing developer is working on the project with Sarasota-based CASL (Community Assisted & Supported Living) and Tri-County Human Services.

The community is for high-need families, and as such the company says that beyond being a place to live and the associated amenities, it will include coordinated residential services “to foster a supportive and inclusive environment.”

Blue Sky says in a news release that the development will included “a new center to provide barrier-free access to essential behavioral health and primary care services” and that working along with the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network it “is committed to reducing resident reliance on local crisis services, empowering residents to maintain independence to contribute positively to society and ensuring a successful and healthier community.”

Funding for the project says Blue Sky came from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation as part of a pilot program for people who’ve cycled through various forms of crisis services. Other money is coming from the Sadowski Funds, Polk County, the city of Auburndale, Raymond James Tax Credits Funds and TD Bank.

Winter Haven Mayor, Nathaniel Birdsong says in the news release that the project is “a transformative moment for Winter Haven and the Polk County community.”

“This initiative represents a powerful collaboration aimed at addressing the critical need for affordable housing and comprehensive support services and sets a new standard in our community.”

A ceremonial groundbreaking at Jersey Commons was held last week and the community is expected to open early next year.

Blue Sky was founded in 2012 and has completed more than 20 affordable housing complexes and is working on several more.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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