In the face of foreclosure, Palm Beach County steps in to save Covenant Villas in Belle Glade

BELLE GLADE, Fla. -- Covenant Villas, the aging, affordable housing complex in the 600 block of Covenant Drive that has fallen into disrepair, is too valuable for Palm Beach County to allow it to go into foreclosure, county officials said on Monday.

NOAH Development Corporation, which operates the 144-unit complex, is currently in default of its first mortgage and is facing foreclosure on the property.

Shannon LaRocque, an assistant county administrator, said the County would loan NOAH $875,000 to partially pay off the first mortgage and make repairs.

The County would then be in a first mortgage position.

"The housing situation in the Glades is significantly challenged. And, we believe that this is an investment that will allow, that will provide decent, affordable [and] safe housing for the residents in the Glades," LaRocque told WPTV NewsChannel 5.

Covenant Villas, which opened its doors in 1989, needs hundreds of thousands of dollars of repairs.

Even with that, LaRocque said it was still "one of the best properties" in Belle Glade.

"It is a decent place in Belle Glade to live and the only decent place here in Belle Glade to live," said Evelyn Hill, a Covenant Villas resident.

Hill, who has lived in the complex for 26 years, pays $554 every month for a three bedroom apartment.

"That's why I have been here for so long. I can't find nowhere else to go. The rent is too extravagant," she said. "If they close this place down they are throwing me and my daughter out on the streets."

Palm Beach County commissioners are expected to approve a staff recommendation to approve the loan agreement with NOAH Development Corporation on Tuesday.

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