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Belle Glade wants to offer more affordable housing

Posted at 4:48 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 18:20:22-05

BELLE GLADE, Fla. — The city of Belle Glade is looking to attract families in western Palm Beach County by providing more affordable housing.

It’s been sitting silent, boarded up, and in disrepair for years. But there’s still life left in the old Gove Elementary School in Belle Glade.

"I hope to own my own home here one day with great neighbors, friends, and family," said Angle Steward.

For Steward, it’s the opportunity to fulfill her dream of being a homeowner, and having a larger space for her six kids and three nieces and nephews.

"When I leave this world I want to leave something behind with memories in it," Steward said.

The School District of Palm Beach County donated the nearly 10.5 acres of land to the city earlier this year, with the goal of building more affordable housing, which the mayor says is desperately needed in the Glades.

"We want this location to be with all the bells and whistles that anybody when they ride by they say wow, that’s a place I want to be," said Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson.

The city is now soliciting bids from contractors.

"What the commission wants is home ownership and didn’t want it to be all single-family homes, it was hoping it could be some condos some single family and mixed use," said City Manager Lomax Harrelle.

The project is still in the very early stages, and before the city can break ground all of these buildings need to be demolished.

The city says demolition will run between $500,000 and $600,000, so it’s now reaching out to the county hoping to secure funding.

"The dream is alive and we’re going to make sure that we put these homes up and people come to Belle Glade to live and raise their kids," Wilson said.

Angle is already looking to the future for her family and the city hopes the project will be complete in about two years.

"It will give them stability and hope that is needed right now at this time," Steward said.