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Posted June 15, 2017 | 2:37 PM

County Helps Meet Need for Affordable Apartments

Blue Sky Brandon provides housing for residents with limited incomes

Blue Sky Brandon, a new complex of 120 apartments just north of Brandon Boulevard, is an affordable housing option for people in the thriving east Hillsborough County community.

An opening ceremony took place June 8 at the apartments, 504 Cobalt Blue Drive.

The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved a $275,000 loan for Brandon Palms. It has one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for low- and moderate-income families. Six apartments are reserved for people with special needs. The complex was fully leased before the first resident moved in.

It's the second residential multiplex funded recently by Hillsborough County and its partners. The other one, Silver Lake Apartments, has 72 affordable residences and is in the Town 'N Country area. A rehabilitation of the complex was completed in February 2016.

A third complex, Sweetwater Villas, with 56 apartments for low- and moderate-income residents, is planned for northwest Tampa. It, too, is funded by Hillsborough County and its partners. Sweetwater Villas is slated to open in mid-2018.

Blue Sky Communities is the developer of all three projects.

Potential residents of these multi-family dwellings supported by Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Services are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Affordable Housing Services (http://hcflgov.net/en/government/departments/affordable-housing;) allocates state and federal money to acquire land, build housing, refurbish existing structures, arrange financing, and make emergency repairs for the benefit of low- and moderate-income county residents. Among other initiatives, it allocates funds to improve roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods; builds shelters and community gathering places; and supports programs ranging from Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay to Metropolitan Ministries.

Working closely with its advisory board and the Board of County Commissioners, Affordable Housing Services' central goal is to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income Hillsborough County residents.

Photo information: Brandon Palms apartments. Photo provided by Blue Sky Communities.