Disney is back into real estate! The Disney Parks Blog has revealed that “Walt Disney World is earmarking nearly 80 acres of our land for a new affordable housing development” within Central Florida. Apparently “this initiative has been in the works for a while”!
“We are invested in working together with our community to solve complex issues,” Jeff Vahle, the president of Walt Disney World Resort, told the blog. “The lack of affordable housing is affecting many people across our country, including right here in Central Florida. With this initiative, we’re lending a hand to make a real and meaningful impact in our community by tapping into the best of our company’s strengths. This is the right opportunity and the right time to take action.”
Over 1,300 units will be available to provide affordable housing in the southwestern portion of Orange County in Florida. The housing will be built by a third-party developer, and there will be “a variety of home choices that are affordable and attainable” for Central Florida residents to choose.
Disney has also chosen to build this housing development “in a great part of town near schools and the new and expanding Flamingo Crossings Town Center retail and dining complex”! Apparently, Disney Cast Members who are eligible will actually be able to get a spot in these housing developments, too!
This plan for Central Florida serves as a nice parallel to the work that was done in Anaheim, California, by the Disneyland Resort. Years ago, Disneyland teamed up with the Orange County Housing Trust to do something similar with the “Buena Esperanza project” (a “community for veterans and homeless individuals with mental illness”). Disney is now expanding its efforts to Florida with a similar goal: providing affordable housing to those who need it and who are struggling!
Disneyland already has another community like Buena Esperanza, called Finamore Place, that is under construction and on its way for this summer. The new Disney World community will be developed and designed with the “innovation, expertise, and attention to detail” from Disney Parks and Resorts in mind.