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Tallahassee Housing Authority in need of $5 million for Orange Avenue Project

Rising costs leave THA with a $5 million funding gap
Posted at 6:12 PM, May 09, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "Over there I am in walking distance, to be able to walk to the store. I don't have a car," said Dorothy Snell, Former Orange Avenue Tenant.

Dorothy Snell has lived in Tallahassee for over 60 years specifically on Orange Avenue in Southside Tallahassee.

Snell said she has lived in Orange Avenue apartments for the last 10 years. When Snell, like many other residents, heard about plans for redevelopment she was excited for the change.

"I was more than happy about that. What the housing was doing," said Snell.

Though, Tallahassee Housing Authority is running into issues along the way. Right now, they need over $5 million to complete the Orange Avenue apartments project. This is due to things such as inflation and the pandemic. The site's developer Ray Kuniansky said 5 years ago it would have cost around 100,000 to build an individual apartment, now, that number has doubled.

According to Associated Builders, Construction input prices have gone up 39% since February 2020.

"I can think of a couple of times over the course of my career when things have slowed down or prices went up a little but not at this magnitude," said Ray Kuniansky, Chief Development Officer.

Despite the financial toll the project has taken, Director of the housing authority Brenda Williams said she has a plan.

"The housing authority is currently preparing an application to submit the state of Florida for funding for phase 3," said Williams.

Williams said this will not affect the redevelopment timeline or future rent prices. Residents are more eager now than ever.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you," said Snell.