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Affordable Housing Opens But It’s Still Not Enough

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hundreds of elderly South Floridians, desperate for an affordable safe place to live, camped out at the corner of 7th Street and 53rd Avenue Monday waiting for their turn to fill out an application for a chance at a new apartment in an unfinished building.

Georgiana Turner, 67, told CBS4’s Gwen Belton that she got in line around 8 P.M. on Monday. Her daughter, Barbara Robaina, joined later for support as they waited to fill out an application on Tuesday.

“It’s very important, just not for my mother but for everybody else, what with the economics now days, it’s really bad,” said Robaina.

Turner said she lives on a fixed income and struggles to make ends meet like the hundreds of men and women who stood in line for hours for their shot at one of the 109 apartment units that will be available when the building is finished.

“They know there are 109 units, but look how they are holding on because they hope that somebody might dropout, or somebody might not qualify”, said developer Jose Fabregas.

Fabregas said the huge turn out shows a great need for affordable housing in Miami Dade County.

“Right now, Dade County is one of the highest in the nation, even higher than Los Angeles or New York, in need of housing for the elderly,” said Fabregas.

Lucia Diaz hopes she is one of the ones who qualify. Diaz said she lost her job six months ago and cheaper rent would help her out right now. “I can’t afford to pay the rent that I pay now,” said Diaz.

Fabregas said only one thousand applications will be given out, of that only 109 people will be selected. To qualify, applicants must be 62 years of age or older and on a fixed income.
(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved)

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