Miami Jewish Health Systems (MJHS) broke ground on its latest expansion of Douglas Gardens North, a $10.5 million affordable senior living community located in Pembroke Pines, Florida last week.
Expected to be be finished in 2012, the new building includes 75 apartment units and offer low-income seniors access to healthcare and social services. The new development was made possible by a $10.5 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant, which was one of the final grants to be issued in Florida through the department’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program.
“HUD entrusted these dollars to Miami Jewish Health Systems and Douglas Gardens North in large part because of our track record of sound management and efficient spending,” said William R. Holmes, Director of Douglas Gardens North. “We believe that responsible stewardship of public money involves impacting as broad a swath of the community as possible – beyond serving our residents, we aimed to create a project that served a larger role in the community, providing healthcare and social services for those who can benefit from them.”
The need for affordable housing for seniors has never been greater following years of recession. The number of people statewide in need of assistance has grown dramatically; Douglas Gardens North alone has 500 seniors on its waiting list according to MJHS.
“We are deeply grateful to all who helped make this project possible, including U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was integral in the securing of our funding,” said Jeffrey Freimark, Chief Executive Officer of MJHS. “Right alongside our mission of delivering high quality healthcare, we aim to provide affordable places to live for those who are in need. Douglas Gardens North serves a critical role in the community, offering safe, affordable homes for our low-income seniors. We are proud to expand our mission with this new project.”
Editors Note: A previous version of this article said HUD would be phasing out its section 202 program, that’s not the case according to HUD’s spokesperson.