What’s the deal with that big construction project on Flagler Avenue? It seemed dormant for a while, but once again is coming together in the 2700 block.
The project is sponsored by Catholic Charities as part of the Archdiocese of Miami, and includes 37 new, single-occupancy apartments.
“The 37 new units were approved by the city as ‘workforce housing,’ so employment for applicants will be a primary criteria,” said Meagan Hull, program director for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami.
The project also includes a separate component for 10 units of housing for low-income, disabled individuals. That’s on hold for now, Hull said; “however, it will resume intake in upcoming months.”
The 37 apartments are known as St. Bede’s Village, in honor of St. Bede’s Church, a former parish in Key West.
“The project has captured the imagination of many because throughout the Keys there is a challenge of affordable housing,” Father John Baker, pastor of the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, said in a January 2020 article in Florida Catholic, a magazine published by the Archdiocese of Miami. “Whenever anybody has been in need, I refer them to the Catholic Charities office here and they are taken care of and are grateful. The word gets around.”
The initial construction plan called for completion of St. Bede’s Village this past summer, but a new targeted completion date was not provided as of presstime. Devika Austin, public relations officer for Catholic Charities, did not respond to requests for comment.
“A Florida state agency has granted Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami nearly $1 million to assist its affordable housing projects,” the Florida Catholic article states. “The Tallahassee-based Volunteer Florida Foundation recently announced that a statewide total of $8 million in Florida Disaster Fund long-term recovery grants will be awarded to organizations engaged in Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Irma long-term recovery efforts.
“Catholic Charities Miami will receive $925,000 to be applied mostly to its new St. Bede’s workforce development facility. Approximately $150,000 will be set aside to help working families in Monroe County struggling with housing and rent affordability.”