By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Miami–Biscayne Housing Group and Carrfour Supportive Housing broke ground just before Christmas on Casa Matias, an affordable housing development in Miami-Dade County. The project will consist of affordable rental apartments designated as “permanent supportive housing” for formerly homeless families, as well as traditional low-income family housing. Completion is slated for December 2011.
The project will contain 12 one-bedroom/one-bathroom units, 50 two-bedroom/two-bathroom units, and 18 three-bedroom/two-bathroom units in a six-story, mid-rise tower with a one-story parking garage, plus indoor and outdoor community recreation space. Casa Matias will also offer a broad range of support services and resident programs to meet the needs of formerly homeless households.
Of the total number of apartments at Casa Matias, 10 percent (eight units) will be set aside for extremely low income households, defined as earning 33 percent of area median income (AMI) or less; 40 percent (32 units) will be for households earning 60 percent of AMI or less; and 50 percent (40 units) will be for households earning 50 percent of AMI or less. At minimum, 50 percent of the units will be dedicated to formerly homeless households.
“Developing supportive housing is always a challenge, no matter where you’re located,” Andrea Romero, project manager with Biscayne Housing Group, tells MHN. “It takes a dedicated team to make it to a groundbreaking for a homeless development. On Casa Matias, we were lucky to have National Equity Fund, Florida Housing Finance Corp., and Miami Dade County working with us to bring this project to fruition.”
The name of the project is an homage to Matias Romero. Matias, patriarch of the Romero family, escaped from Cuba after the Castro came to power. Six months after arriving in Miami, at the age of 80, he purchased the land that will be the site of Casa Matias, and started the MCR Lumber and Materials Supply business.