When people are asked what comes to mind when they think of Florida, one of the first things they will probably say is Disney World. Disney is one of the largest employers in the state and brings millions of dollars every year. Disney has always worked closely with the state, as well as Orange County and Osceola County — the two counties the Walt Disney World Resort is located in. Many of Disney’s Cast Members live near the Parks, so Disney wants to work hard to improve these communities in innovative ways.
Today, Disney announced that it was earmarking 80 acres of Southwest Orange County to be developed as affordable housing. Disney Parks Blog shared more information on the new development that will soon be underway.
Today, we’re taking a big step forward in these efforts: Walt Disney World is earmarking nearly 80 acres of our land for a new affordable housing development – right here in Central Florida. This initiative has been in the works for a while as we’ve been focused on finding solutions to this challenge for quite some time. I am thrilled that we can finally share this news with our cast members and neighbors.
“We are invested in working together with our community to solve complex issues,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “The lack of affordable housing is affecting many people across our country, including right here in Central Florida. With this initiative, we’re lending a hand to make a real and meaningful impact in our community by tapping into the best of our company’s strengths. This is the right opportunity and the right time to take action.”
The development, which is expected to include more than 1,300 units, will be constructed by a third-party affordable housing developer and will be located on Disney’s land in southwest Orange County, Florida. It will offer Central Florida residents a variety of home choices that are affordable and attainable, in a great part of town near schools and the new and expanding Flamingo Crossings Town Center retail and dining complex. The development will be available for qualifying applicants in our region, including Disney cast members.
This affordable housing area is not the first time that Disney has worked with the counties to help its low-income residents. Disney VoluntEARS frequently work with charity organizations, like the Orange County Food Bank, to bring necessary items to residents. Every year, Disney also works with several area organizations to bring gifts to thousands of families in the Orlando area.
Disney is also working to bring affordable housing to the Anaheim area, where Disneyland Resort is located. Disney has already created one affordable housing complex and is currently nearing completion on the second. The housing area was created for veterans, as well as other homeless individuals who are suffering from mental illness. Disney not only provides them with housing, but also with health and wellness support, as well as career training and job placement programs.
At this time, Disney has only said that the project is in the works. They have not announced when construction will begin, when the area is expected to be completed, or how much these affordable housing units will cost. Disneydining.com will keep readers updated as we learn more!