Realtors and Nonprofits Partner in Attainable Housing


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 12th, 2016 – The Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM) is continuing to strengthen its partnership with the two counties’ Habitat for Humanity nonprofits involved in helping qualified residents to attain sustainable homeownership.

In 2016, RASM joined Habitat for Humanity Sarasota in presenting a three-bedroom, two-bath home in Brooksdale Drive to a family of three erstwhile sharing a one-bedroom rented apartment. A sponsor of this nonprofit’s “Team Build” program, the realtors’ group was involved in this homebuilding project since its groundbreaking in 2015. The RASM volunteers worked on this project up to the recent dedication rites for this home located in Sarasota Springs, which incidentally has been named recently as one of the top 100 Florida communities to live in.

Realtors in Homebuilding

Realtors and Nonprofits Partner in Attainable Housing

Volunteers from RASM’s membership have been fielded earlier on other Team Build projects. It was, in fact, the fourth time that the association’s members shifted their efforts from marketing Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale to the more physical tasks of raising walls, building and hammering.

Habitat Sarasota has been active since 1984 in providing safe and affordable homes to qualified low-income households. Besides raising funds and donations, it also organizes a volunteer workforce which on average contributes 2,500 hours per home, thus reducing construction cost by 25 to 30 percent for each project.

RASM will not only continue supporting the Team Build program of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota in 2016. It has also presented a $5,000 check donation to the nonprofit’s “Cornerstone” sponsorship program.

In July 2016, the realtors association likewise donated the same amount to the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity. RASM, in addition, committed to mobilize its memberships to volunteer in the Manatee nonprofit’s home builds throughout 2016 as it has been doing in Sarasota.

Multiple Efforts in Manatee

A recently announced plan to convert Manatee County’s Old Jail building into affordable housing has also piqued the interest of the RASM president, Linda Formella. Noting that there is an urgent market need for attainable housing, she expressed hope that this project will move forward and that the realtors’ association will be a part of the endeavor.

Significantly, several affordable housing projects by other institutions have been recently lined up in Manatee. One is the Knights Inn project of developer Harvey Vengroff who plans to convert this motel built in 1974 into 240 studio apartments. Vengroff has already closed the deal on this Central Bradenton property for $4.4 million, following the Manatee Commission’s approval of a rezoning of the site to allow its redevelopment.

Another project in the works is the Terraces at Peridia, a 61-unit multifamily housing project west of the Peridia Boulevard leading onwards to the Peridia Golf and Country Club, one buying destination for prime Bradenton homes for sale. The Manatee commission has already approved this project, despite opposition from many Peridia residents who expressed concern on height specs and limited access.

Although encountering some concerns from local residents too, Ellenton Landings in Palmetto looks likely to see the green light as well. This affordable housing project in north Manatee is planned for 136 multifamily units in 14 buildings at the southwest corner of 29th Street East and Ellenton-Gillette Road. Its preliminary site plan has already been approved by the county commission. At least 25 percent of the Ellenton Landings units have been designated as affordable housing, while workforce housing will account for 25 percent, a mix that can significantly add to the region’s supply of attainable housing.