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July 17, 2006

Overtown agency cuts ribbon on newly affordable townhomes


More than a dozen townhomes priced for low- to moderate-income families are about to open in Overtown.

City of Miami and county officials gathered in Overtown Friday to celebrate the opening.

''This is St. John's effort to create ownership in the black community,'' said David Alexander, president and CEO of the St. John Community Development Corp., an Overtown nonprofit that focuses of providing affordable housing. ``We need not to be moved out, kicked out every time a [development] project takes place.''

The agency oversaw the building of the St. John Village Homes, at 1600-1640 NW First Ave., which consists of 14 two and three-bedroom townhomes priced from $115,000 and three-bedroom homes went for $139,000 and $185,000.

The homes have already been sold, and the sales are expected to close next week, said Hurlette Brown, housing coordinator for the St. John CDC.

The project, which cost $2.6 million, was funded by a federal block grant as well as private sources.