Disney chooses developer for 1,300 low-income housing units near theme parks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Walt Disney World took the next step in a previous plan to build affordable housing in Florida. On 80 acres of land in Orange County, just miles from the Magic Kingdom, Disney announced they’ve chosen a developer to build more than 1,000 housing units.

In April, Disney announced plans to set aside 80 acres of land to build 1,300 affordable housing units to help cast members struggling to find somewhere to live.

Disney plans affordable housing to help struggling workers
The acres are in Southwest Orange County, near Walt Disney World. They’ve now chosen their developer, The Michaels Organization to do the work.

According to a release by Disney, and another by the developer, the project is intended to create affordable and attainable housing in Central Florida.

“Walt Disney World will contribute approximately 80 acres of land in southwest Orange County, Florida, for the development, located west of State Road 429 and just a couple of miles from Flamingo Crossings Town Center,” the company said in a statement, referring to housing needs as one of America’s “greatest challenges.”

Disney said they chose the Michaels Organization due to its long history of building and managing attainable housing communities. They currently manage 425 communities in more than 35 states.

“For more than 50 years, Walt Disney World has cared for and invested in our community, and we’re committed to being a part of this solution which will bring more attainable housing to Central Florida,” Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said. “We will continue to find ways to use our resources to make a difference in the community we call home, and we’re excited to take this step with a nationally recognized developer.”

The development itself will be paid for through private financing, and applicants for the residences will be restricted to specific income levels, according to Disney. Once construction is completed, The Michaels Organization “will serve as builder, owner, and manager for the community.”