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Central Florida News

Orange County Housing and Community Development Division Highlights 2022 Accomplishments



Orange County, FL — For more than 45 years, Orange County’s Housing and Community Development Division has provided affordable housing, neighborhood improvements, and economic opportunities for mostly low- and moderate-income residents of Orange County. The division accomplishes its goals through partnerships with nonprofit organizations, citizen groups, and public/private agencies committed to creating and maintaining a strong urban community, where underserved neighborhoods and vulnerable populations can thrive.

“Our team is dedicated to exploring and exhausting all viable options and funding sources to provide affordable housing, homelessness services and improving the quality of life of our residents here in Orange County,” said Mitchell Glasser, Housing and Community Development Manager. “For example, in 2022, some 805 affordable rental units, including 110 that are set aside for extremely low-income households, are in development for occupancy later this year.”

2022 Accomplishments at-a-glance

Affordable Housing

  • 86 homeowner housing occupied units rehabilitated
  • 182 households received tenant based rental assistance
  • 2,153 households received other types of rental assistance
  • 13 new affordable homeowner housing units added
  • 82 homebuyers received direct financial assistance
  • 335 new permanent affordable rental units created

Homeless Services

  • 1,222 persons received overnight shelter assistance
  • 16 households assisted with rapid re-housing
  • 139 persons assisted with homelessness prevention services

Quality of Life

  • 5 public facilities rehabilitated and/or constructed
  • 8,388 persons benefitted from public facilities or infrastructure improvement activities
  • 69 jobs created through public services and construction activities
  • 100 persons received fair housing education and training
  • 2,289 individuals were assisted with various public service activities

Under the CARES Act, Orange County has been awarded Community Development Block Grant funds and Emergency Solutions Grant funds to help prepare for, prevent, and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Housing Projects and Public Services Activities (CDBG-CV)

Projects and activities included COVID-related improvements to public facilities that benefited 1,930 individuals. These facilities were owned and operated by Winter Park Housing Authority, Aspire Health Partners, Inc., Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Inc., and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida, Inc.

Additionally, 15,154 individuals received various COVID related public services that included health and homeless services, services for individuals with disabilities, housing stability case management, food services, job placement and retention, legal services and counseling, children services, and wraparound and identification services.

Homeless Activities (ESG-CV)

Orange County distributed funds to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Inc. to provide homelessness prevention services, including financial assistance and case management, to eligible households who were at risk of experiencing homelessness due to COVID-19. With this partnership, Orange County was able to provide overnight emergency shelters, homelessness prevention services and rapid-rehousing services.

The 2021-2022 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) serves as the evaluation tool used to assess Orange County’s progress towards meeting goals and objectives. This document can be found online, at: 2021-2022CAPERExecutiveSummary.pdf (

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Central Florida News

State Rep. LaVon Bracy Davis’s Safety Standards for Amusement Rides Bill Passed First Committee



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, Representative LaVon Bracy Davis’s (D-Ocoee) HB 1241 Safety Standards for Amusement Rides, also known as the Tyre Sampson Act, passed its first committee. Tyre Sampson was a promising young man who visited Orlando almost exactly one year ago for spring break and fell 400 feet from the Free Fall ride when his harness failed. Tragically, Tyre died on impact. This bill creates more safety precautions and inspections for amusement park rides including stricter safety standards, more signage, and further inspections.

“On behalf of the Sampson family, we are incredibly grateful to Senator Thompson and Representative Bracy Davis for their dedication to The Sampson family and the safety of all Floridians. We are also grateful to the bipartisan unanimous group of Senators and Representatives who have voted to move this good bill forward. Tyre Sampson was a 14-year-old son, star student, and star athlete who lost his life in a tragic and preventable accident that was the direct result of unthinkable negligence. This bill ensures that Tyre’s legacy will be to make sure that an incident like this never happens to anyone else’s child,” stated Todd Michaels and Michael Haggard, attorneys from The Haggard Law Firm who represent Sampson’s mother.

Representative Bracy Davis stated, “Tyre Sampson was a smart, athletic, and kind boy with big dreams that he will never be able to accomplish. What happened to Tyre was devastating, leaving a hole in his family that will never be filled. Visitors from out of state, like Tyre, as well as Floridians, should be able to trust that we do our due diligence to keep them safe when they come to enjoy the many attractions Florida offers. This bill will do that, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill to the floor.”

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Central Florida News

Sheriff’s Office investigating fatal shooting at Aqua Vista Drive in Orlando



ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – On March 28, 2023 at 11:53 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 4300 block of Aqua Vista Drive for a shooting call and found a man in his 30s in the parking lot who had been shot. He was pronounced dead on scene.

The Sheriff’s office said, it’s very early in the investigation and we have no suspect information at this time.

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Central Florida News

Senator Linda Stewart joins Senator Jason Brodeur in co-introducing SB 880: Biosolids



Tallahassee, FL – Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orange County) joins Senator Jason Brodeur (R – Seminole County) in co-introducing SB 880: Biosolids.

This bill establishes a grant program within the Department of Environmental Protection for municipalities seeking to convert wastewater into useable biosolids. Wastewater treatment processes separate liquids and solids in order to create a nutrient rich earth like matter known as biosolds. In order to create the highest quality of biosolids, known as Class A, the separated solid waste must be treated in a manner that eliminates pathogens before its distribution to users.

“Our state has long been affected by its lack of wide-spread sewer systems, and has been in desperate need of proper funding to modernize and expand the systems we currently have. By creating this grant program we will remove the harmful nutrients that continue to overload our waterways and lead to dangerous events such as algae blooms,” said Stewart.

Class A biosolids have many important applications in place of chemical fertilizers. With their high standards for treatment of pathogens, they are able to be used as both agricultural and at home alternates to chemical fertilizers that leach into nearby water supplies, resulting in the death of native species and reducing human use of waterways.

“It’s time we utilize our wastewater to its fullest potential, and through treating our wastewater and producing biosolids we have a win-win-win situation. We upgrade our water treatment infrastructure that stops sewage seepage into water sources, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous levels that degrade our environment, and produce a useable product that’s superior to our synthetic versions on the market today,” said Stewart

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