By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has been moving forward with the Corey Isle housing project despite the coronavirus closures. The project will consist of ten single-family workforce housing units in the Southwest neighborhood at the corner of SW 7th Avenue and SW 4th Street.
The housing project was designed as a way to provide affordable housing for families in Delray who are looking for a permanent home to call their own. The homes will be either three or four bedrooms with two bathrooms and rear-loaded garages and will be between 1,800 to 2,300 square feet.
CRA executive director, Renée Jadusingh, shared, “The Corey Isle housing project marks an exciting time for the CRA and its mission, as it provides affordable housing for families in Delray Beach.”
Adding, “These families will be able to settle into a home they love, in a neighborhood with which they can grow. It is a positive for everyone involved, and a testament to community driven leadership in organizations within the City working together.”
The project also provides the opportunity to preserve the neighborhood’s cultural history as the area was originally settled by Bahamians and other Caribbean Islanders.
The groundbreaking event was on March 12th, and according to the April 2020 Monthly Work Plan Report, the master permit for construction has been approved. Now the individual permits for the first three homes have been submitted to Building Department for plan review, and received comments on April 15th.
The Delray Beach Community Land Trust (CLT) was awarded the project through the request for proposal process, which helps the CLT to reach its goal of creating healthy communities through the provision and preservation of affordable housing for low to moderate income households.
According to Evelyn Dobson, executive director of the Delray Beach Community Land Trust, the CLT has a pipeline of homebuyer applications. The families will be selected in order of when their mortgage applications are ready, in a “first come, first served” basis.
She also confirmed today that despite many financial institutions putting the breaks on business, “the pandemic has not had a direct impact on mortgage pre-qualifications for low to moderate income households with our lenders.”
The CLT also confirmed they will provide payment assistance on an as needed basis in the event of a gap between the purchase price of the home and the amount approved by the mortgage lender.
“It’s always exciting to see a new project commence,” said Tara Toto, redevelopment manager for the Delray Beach CRA.
She began working on the project in August 2019 as the project manager and manages coordination between the various public, private and non-profit agencies to ensure that the project moves forward quickly and coordination is efficient.
“Providing affordable housing with the [CRA] District is part of the CRA’s mission. Workforce housing is an integral part of sustainable communities,” with this project being special to the community in another way.
Corey Isle is named after church drummer, Corey Jones, who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2015. Jones worked for the Delray Beach Housing Authority for several years.
The housing units will sit right across from the area where Jones used to mentor others, and will serve as a constant reminder of the good that Jones provided for his community members.
The prices of the homes will range from $235,000 for the single story units and from $295,000 for the two story units, and the project is slated to take a quick nine months from start to finish.