By Claire McNeill, Tampa Bay Times, November 5, 2014 2:55pm
DADE CITY — Nearly 40 years of flooding have plagued residents of the dilapidated Dade Oaks Apartments public housing complex, built at the bottom of a drainage basin in 1977.
Those residents will soon have a new home less than a mile away, in the aptly named Hilltop Landings Apartments, for which there was a ground-breaking ceremony with development firm Gorman & Co. on Wednesday.
“We’re hoping this is going to change the lives of a couple of our residents,” said David Lambert, chairman of the Pasco County Housing Authority. “They are just ecstatic about it.”
The floor plan for Hilltop Landings, a 12.8-acre site on 14th Street, will mimic the 69-unit Dade Oaks complex, but with more modern, energy-efficient units. Construction is expected to take a year and a half.
Money for the project comes from $1.75 million in county funds, to be matched with millions in state and private dollars, totaling about $15 million.
In May 2012, Dade Oaks received a failing inspection from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, prompting HUD officials to recommend a substantial rehabilitation of the complex.
The Dade Oaks site at 37460 Acorn Loop in north Dade City will be used for stormwater retention once the buildings are knocked down.