NewsPolk County


Five affordable homes built in Lake Wales historic Northwest Neighborhood

Posted at 7:39 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 19:39:03-05

LAKE WALES, Fla. — The City of Lake Wales is expanding its affordable housing.

“From the countertops to the appliances, this is top of the line,” said, Darrell Starling, Community Redevelopment Agency Project Manager for the City of Lake Wales .

In just a few days, a family will be moving into a new home located in the historic Northwest neighborhood of Lake Wales. It’s one of five new houses recently built in the area as part of the City’s affordable housing program.

“Have a shortage of affordable housing throughout Polk County,” Starling said.

The City partnered with Keystone Challenge Fund to build the new homes which are priced at $180,000. Starling said the average median income for this area is a little under $20,000 per year.

Expanding affordable housing is part of the City’s plan to revitalize the Northwest neighborhood, a once-thriving business district.

“To increase the property values, to bring more affordable homes in the area. To help first time homeowners have generational wealth,” Starling said.

A new round of houses ticketed for vacant lots are already in the works and starling tells me several private developers have submitted permits.

“We’re making sure that they’re partnering with the city to provide affordable housing and not have a different demographic come to this area,” Starling said.

The goal for CRA is to build at least 12 new homes by the end of the year.