Pensacola Magazine, November 2019

Page 72

ON THE MARKET Escambia County Housing Finance Authority and Pensacola State College Close to Completion of First Mini Home Construction Trades Demonstration Project The Escambia County Housing Finance Authority works to support the development of affordable single-family housing in Escambia County. The Authority provides no interest construction loans to its team of builders who commit to build affordable housing for first time homebuyers in the urban areas of Escambia County. Over forty brand new homes have been completed since the program began in 2016 at an average sales price of less than $170,000. At the same time, the Authority began exploring the construction of very small homes in an effort to make homes even more affordable. Through a grant from the Authority to the University of South Florida, the University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design worked with the Authority to design two homes that are fully building-code compliant and have footprints of under 600 square feet. In May, 2018, Pensacola State College, through its Carpentry and Engineering Technology Program, began work with the Authority to construct a prototype of a shot-gun style Mini Home based on the University of South Florida design. The Mini Home has a relaxed contemporary feel with approximately 570 enclosed 72 On The Market

square feet and features high ceilings, transom windows, clever storage solutions and a wrap-around porch. When completed during the fall semester of 2019, the home will be sold to a first time homebuyer family at an affordable price. Proceeds of sale will be used to reimburse materials cost and to fund future affordable housing projects through the Program. The Mini Home project has provided a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity for students enrolled in the PSC Building Trade Programs, who have exhibited the highest standards of meticulous craftsmanship, enthusiasm and hard work. Tony Grahame, Building Trades Program Coordinator, is managing the residential house project and with the help of his dedicated carpentry students and other PSC building trades’ students and faculty, is constructing the house from the ground up. Students learn hands-on from Tony’s many years of construction experience and expertise and from their own real-world experience. The Authority is providing construction financing for the project, and many members of the local and regional building supply community have contributed materials and products, making this not

only an exciting educational experience, but a true community project. Plans are being made for a ribbon cutting at completion, at which time the contributions of the many participants will be recognized. Tours of the house will be available when the house is completed. The Authority works every day to alleviate the shortage of affordable homes in Escambia County. Homebuyers who are interested in learning more about this initiative or the Authority’s other affordable housing initiatives are invited to visit the Authority’s website at or contact the Authority at 850-432-

7077 for more details. The Authority’s mission is to make homeownership dreams come true. For more information regarding the PSC Building Trade Programs please contact either Mike Listau, Director of Applied Technology and Professional Services at mlistau@pensacolastate.edu, or Tony Grahame, Carpentry Program, at agrahame@ pensacolastate.edu.