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There is finally some good news concerning the lack of affordable housing in Miami. Wednesday was the grand opening of the new Palermo Lake apartments, an affordable housing development for senior citizens.

“We’re providing assistance to the elderly,” Rebecca Sosa, a Miami-Dade commissioner, told CBS4 Reporter Jim Berry. At the ribbon cutting ceremony at the $14-million facility, she added, “They are going to be able to come with 109 families.”

However, in October of 2008, nearly one thousand seniors waited in line for h
ours just to receive an application for the 109 unit building. Mercedes Barrios was among those waiting. Now, she was happy to see her one-bedroom apartment with a view, which will cost her only $200 a month. “It’s beautiful,” she exclaimed.

Steve Protulis, Executive Director of the Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation said: “We are delighted to be able to provide this new building and supportive services for 110-plus seniors,
but are saddened by the reality that before this building moves in its first resident, there will be over 800 people on the waiting list.”

That scarcity of housing was also reiterated by Morton Bahr of the EHDOC. He said, “This is an unacceptable situation which suddenly grows worse as the baby boomers start to retire and the senior population continues to explode.”

Palermo Lake was developed by Jose Fabregas who back in October said that the huge turnout showed 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,” Fabregas previously said. Those who were chosen to move into the building must be 62 years of age or older and on a fixed income. Residents will spend only a third of their income on rent.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved)

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