LAKE WORTH, FL. — Last month the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was acknowledged by two prestigious statewide organizations due to our efforts to provide quality workforce housing in the City of Lake Worth. On October 30th, the Lake Worth CRA Consortium was named a Best Practice Award Finalist from Sustainable Florida for our recent endeavor to provide over 100 new affordable housing units within a three year timeframe. Sustainable Florida advances the vision of sustainability by identifying, supporting and communicating best management practices — those which protect and preserve Florida’s environment while building markets for Florida’s businesses by enhancing their competitive advantages today. An independent set of judge reviewed and scored numerous nominations. Judges were experienced and knowledgeable in the fields of sustainability, energy, engineering, green building, corporate social responsibility and government.

In addition, and for the third consecutive year, the CRA was recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) for another outstanding redevelopment achievement. The FRA presents awards annually to projects that exhibit the best practices in Florida redevelopment over the past year. The winners were announced this year during FRA’s 2013 Annual Conference held in Tampa on October 31st. Each year the FRA awards committee carefully selects the winners from dozens of entries submitted by agencies from across the State of Florida. All of the entries embody the spirit of successful community redevelopment and revitalization.

This year, the Lake Worth CRA earned the award for “Outstanding Affordable Housing Project” as a result of the multi-million dollar Urban Arts Lofts project which was completed in February 2013. The Urban Arts Lofts is a new 12- unit live/work development constructed in the heart of downtown Lake Worth. The Urban Arts Lofts is considered a signature project in the City and will act as a catalyst for the development of a true arts and cultural destination. The project was built using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act meant to clean up abandoned and foreclosed properties in our most economically distressed neighborhoods. In addition to providing quality housing and workspace for artists, this project will significantly increase the local tax-base and provide much needed revenue for the City’s General fund.

The CRA recognizes that these projects would not have been possible without the help received from our numerous community partners including: The Urban Group, Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach, Housing Partnership, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, the City of Lake Worth and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

For more information about either awards program please call the Lake Worth CRA office at (561) 493-2550 or visit: www.lakeworthcra.org ; www.lakeworthnsp.org ; www.sustainableflorida.org ; www.redevelopment.net.

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