Disney is launching a new project to add affordable housing around Disney World for Cast Members and other Central Florida citizens. Scroll on for a video explaining the project.
Earlier this year, Disney announced its new upscale planned communities that will spring up across the country, called Storyliving by Disney. The first is named Cotino and will be located in Palm Springs, California. These are obviously targeted at affluent buyers—and certainly have a market.
But what about those who can’t afford a massive house in one of these planned communities? The skyrocketing price of housing is displacing families across the country, and Disney recognizes this. Just this week, Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, announced a new 80-acre project that will deliver affordable housing near Disney World.
1,300 Affordable Homes Coming to Disney World Area
According to the announcement, 1,300 homes will spring up across 80 acres of Disney’s land. While Disney is offering up the land, a third-party developer that specializes in affordable housing will actually construct the homes.
These homes will be located on Disney’s land in southwest Orange County, just a stone’s throw from Walt Disney World Resort. According to Disney, this area has fantastic schools and—forget the drive to Disney Springs—easy access to the new Flamingo Crossings Town Center, a retail and dining complex.
Qualifying residents will be able to live here, many of whom are projected to be Disney Cast Members.
Of the new affordable housing project, Vahle said:
“We are invested in working together with our community to solve complex issues. 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.”
VIDEO: Disney World Affordable Housing Project
Disney’s History of Affordable Housing
This announcement does not mark Disney’s first foray into providing affordable housing. A few years back, Disneyland Resort worked to revitalize the Orange County Housing Trust in Anaheim. This trust helps with “last mile” funding for local affordable housing projects.
Thanks to Disneyland’s direct support, the Buena Esperanza project was completed; this project created studio apartments for veterans and homeless individuals with mental illness.
And, of course, Disney invests in myriad nonprofits. Over the years, some of those donations have been routed to affordable housing projects.