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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.