OUC Commissioner Larry G. Mills, Th.D., joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill, and Bishop Allen Wiggins of The Hope Church, to celebrate the official ribbon cutting of New Horizons Apartment Homes. In partnership with The Village of Orlando and OUC—The Reliable One, the joint project resulted in the transformation of 58 previously vacant apartment homes into a showcase for affordable, sustainable and supportive housing for homeless families, with an emphasis on those who are veterans and low income families.
“By combining energy and water efficiency improvements inside the home and solar installations on the rooftop, we expect the residents of New Horizons to save substantially on their monthly utility bills,” said Larry G. Mills, OUC Commissioner (pictured, at podium). “We are committed to enhancing our service area through sustainability and will continue to work with our community partners to find innovative solutions.
“This opportunity means so much. I was previously displaced and to have this opportunity is truly a blessing,” said Rayshun Blake, new resident at New Horizons. “There are no words to express how thankful I am that I now have a place to call home in such a beautiful apartment.”
Sustainability features have been added to the complex and within the apartments that will help keep utility costs low for residents including LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, low-flow water fixtures and faucets, ductless HVAC and high-efficiency water heaters. Additional sustainability features include a 52 KW rooftop solar array, on-site community garden and native landscaping.
“I’m so proud of what this partnership was able to accomplish, transforming a vision into a reality to change the lives of our residents by providing additional affordable housing options in our city,” said Mayor Dyer. “This once-blighted property is now a symbol of hope, combining stable and sustainable housing for homeless families, with an emphasis on those who are veterans and low income households.”