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Affordable housing to be built on site of former Pahokee hospital

60 apartments to be built at former hospital site
Pahokee, affordable housing artist rendering, Everglades Memorial Commons
Pahokee affordable housing site at 200 Barfield Hwy., Dec. 9, 2021
Posted at 11:57 AM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 17:45:23-05

PAHOKEE, Fla. — Two new projects are working to bring affordable housing to Pahokee.

Earlier this year, city officials announced plans for a developer to build affordable rental housing at the site of a former hospital located at 200 Barfield Hwy.

On March 26, the city successfully sold six acres of land to a developer to begin the project.

Pahokee, affordable housing artist rendering, Everglades Memorial Commons
Artist rendering of Everglades Memorial Commons

The proposal includes 60 apartments to be built at the former hospital site, which sat vacant for years. The city demolished the old hospital in November 2020 to make way for the new housing.

City commissioner Clara Murvin was born in the old Pahokee hospital and saddened by its demolition but knows this project with bring new life into the city.

"A was a little teary-eyed at first to see it go down, but we know what the future holds here, so it also brings excitement," Murvin said.

The new community, slated to be called Everglades Memorial Gardens, will offer an on-site community center along with 7,000 square feet of space for a day care center and greenspace.

"Whether they be apartments, affordable housing homes or townhomes, it's a need in this community right now," Murvin said.

Pahokee City Commissioner Clara Murvin speaks on new affordable housing project
Pahokee City Commissioner Clara Murvin explains the new housing was needed "yesterday."

County commissioners this week approved millions of dollars in bonds to help finance the construction. The project is also partially funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Lifelong Pahokee resident Patricia Wallace said the new housing will make her hometown grow stronger.

"This brings light. This is a joy, and a hope that we've been waiting for, and it's finally here," Wallace said.

The city said developers are expected to break ground on the project right after the new year. It will take about nine months, but the goal is to have families move in by late 2022.

A second affordable housing project in the city is scheduled to be built near Amaryllis and South Lake avenues on the former site of the Everglades High School. On those eight acres, the city said about 140 affordable apartments will be constructed.