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Orlando to tackle affordable housing, homelessness with ARPA funds

Orlando plans to spend 67% of the money freed up by ARPA funding on affordable housing and homelessness. Chart; City of Orlando

Orlando is planning to use its federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay some salaries for city employees, replacing revenue lost during the pandemic.

That will free up $58 million to spend on other priorities.

Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the so-called Accelerate Orlando program at a City Council work session Monday.

“[W]e can use our ARPA dollars to make a significant investment in addressing two of the most daunting challenges our city and region face, homelessness and affordable housing,” he said.

The City Council will vote on Accelerate Orlando next month. It includes $39 million to add affordable housing units and to fund improvements for organizations which address homelessness.

The plans also include funding for broadband, job training and anti-gun violence efforts.

The first affordable housing effort on the list is the transformation of the Ambassador Hotel on Colonial Drive into 150 apartments.

The city would invest $4 million of the estimated $10 million required for that project.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.