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Nov 12, 2014 - Miami Herald

New workforce housing coming to Miami Gardens

By Lance Dixon

New workforce housing is coming to Miami Gardens early next year, developers and elected officials announced at a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

The development on vacant plots of land in the southern part of the city, between Northwest 152nd and 154th streets and along Northwest 24th Avenue, will add 12 new single-family homes to a section of the community that officials and residents have often said goes overlooked.

"So many times in our society the American dream is not given to folks who are below the median income," Eddie Dean, with Unek Developers, said.

Representatives from Unek Developers and FNJS Development Group said they expect to begin construction on the three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in the next 30 days. They plan to build four houses at a time and expect to complete construction by next February.

Gregg Berger, president of FJNS, said that the houses will be a little more than 1,700 square feet and somewhere in the low $200,000 price range. He said the space presented his group with a unique opportunity to invest in the area.

"What’s been developed in this area has been nothing," Berger said. "And we aren’t asking for city funds, county funds, we backed this ourselves."

Felicia Robinson, vice mayor of Miami Gardens, said the investment was important for building morale among homeowners in the city. The city was among the hardest hit by the collapse of the housing market, so much so that it sued four major banks in June for predatory lending practices, and city officials hope this will be one of many developments to improve property values and property tax revenue.

"I know that it’s very important that our residents are invested in this community," Robinson said. "When you own the property that you live in, you take pride in it."