The City of Cocoa in partnership with Community Housing Initiative (CHI) will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the development of the first five homes in the Michael C. Blake Subdivision on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 from 9:30-10:30am. This subdivision, named after Cocoa Mayor Michael C. Blake, was first purchased by the City of Cocoa in 2016 to be redeveloped for quality affordable housing.
In June 2023, the City of Cocoa announced the partnership with CHI to build the first five homes in the subdivision, which is located in the Diamond Square Community in Cocoa. The subdivision has twenty-two properties in total that will be developed as quality workforce housing, ensuring that essential workers can live close to their places of employment, reducing commute times and increasing productivity.
“Partnering with CHI to bring affordable housing to the Diamond Square Community is critical in addressing the housing needs of our local workforce such as our teachers, firefighters, police officers, healthcare workers, and more, but it also attracts and retains that talent, spurring economic growth, and creating a sustainable and thriving community,” said Cocoa Mayor Michael C. Blake.
CHI will serve as the developer, contractor, and applicant qualifier for the homes. They will assist buyers with mortgage financing by offering referrals, if needed, and reviewing all lender documentation. Buyers may also be paired with the City of Cocoa’s First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, offering downpayment assistance for first-time homebuyers. Buyers will also need to attend a mandatory homebuyer counseling class prior to closing.
Additionally, the Diamond Square Community Redevelopment Agency (DSCRA) has allocated $475,000 towards the construction of additional workforce housing in this subdivision beyond the first five homes. One of the goals of the DSCRA is to increase partnerships with housing developers to encourage new residential development. With the increased cost of construction, it has become difficult to construct new homes affordably. With the assistance of grants and partnerships with non-profit housing programs, the DSCRA and the City of Cocoa hope to continue their efforts in redeveloping the Diamond Square community.