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Lake Worth Beach creating affordable housing for artists to live and work

Posted at 4:36 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 18:18:13-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — For Joshua Diaz, music is his life. So finding the right recording studio was like searching for a second home, a luxury many artists can't afford.

"For a lot of us, we'll do work in coffee shops or rent a co-working space or just find a public place where we can do work," Diaz said.

Now that place for Diaz is his home.

"It's perfect. This is a dream come true for us," Diaz said.

Recently, Diaz and his wife moved into the Art Lofts of West Village, the second phase of multi-million dollar project funded by the Lake Worth Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and Neighborhood Renaissance.

"The idea is that the creative class, a lot of them do not make an extreme amount of money and it may not be important, but they contribute to fabric of the community," said Michael Pecar, Director of Real Estate Development for Neighborhood Renaissance.

Phase two of the development includes eight three-story townhomes with a market value around $245,000. But through subsidies and down payment assistance, most mortgages are based on a $120,000 price tag.

The goal is to give artists a chance to buy a home and workspace they can afford.

"Other cities are benefiting from artists being there in the beginning and are gentrifying it," Diaz said. "There's not a place for them now, and Lake Worth has figured out a way to give those artists a place to live a place to stay and to flourish long-term."

To learn more about the Art Lofts of West Village, click here.