VILLAGE ON MERCY
Village on Mercy in Orlando, FL won a 2022 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Large Metropolitan Area category.
Village on Mercy, developed by Ability Housing, provides 166 affordable homes serving formerly homeless individuals and low-income or extremely low-income (ELI) households in Orlando, Florida. This lakefront apartment development serves over 400 residents, including 182 children and 39 elderly individuals, of Central Florida, a high-cost area which traditionally lacks affordable housing. The 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) was used to finance the property, with financing facilitated by Enterprise Housing Credit Investments.
At Village on Mercy, 50 percent of all households that live in the property were previously homeless immediately before moving in. To ensure the property is able to serve Central Florida’s most vulnerable populations, 83 homes in the property are reserved for formerly homeless individuals, while another 13 homes are reserved for residents with disabilities. All residents benefit from a plethora of on-site services to support their physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Residents benefit from after-school and summer education programs, financial literacy classes, onsite medical services, job training, and employment assistance programs. Most recently in January 2022, Ability Housing announced a 10-year agreement with Bezos Academy to open a tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool at Village on Mercy in . Since Village on Mercy’s opening, an estimated 800+ residents have utilized and benefited from on-site services.
Village on Mercy is a key part of the City of Orlando’s Mercy Drive Neighborhood Vision Plan, an initiative to revitalize and reinvest in the Mercy Drive community, a historically under-resourced area of Orlando in which the majority of residents are low-income. Ability Housing purchased the property directly from the City of Orlando, and partnered with the City throughout the design and planning process for Village on Mercy. While the property was under construction, the organization and its development team worked with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill, and community leaders from the Mercy Drive neighborhood to ensure future residents would have access to job opportunities with contractors, builders, and other organizations leading development. Now, the Village on Mercy community’s proximity to public transportation, employment opportunities, and schools affords residents access to the resources necessary to flourish in all areas of their lives.