Future homeowners, Florida Home Partnership employees and representatives from the USDA and Hillsborough County were present at the groundbreaking for the new Magnolia Garden Square development.

Florida Home Partnership (FHP), Hillsborough County’s leading nonprofit-certified affordable housing homebuilder, recently broke ground on Magnolia Garden Square in Wimauma. Magnolia Garden Square is one of the first affordable housing communities in Florida to also offer healthy living features that will enhance quality of life for its residents.

The community will feature 38 new homes that are available to those earning 80 percent or below the median income. The owners receive their loans through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program and are expected to participate in a minimum of 600 hours in the building of their homes and their neighbors’ homes, using sweat equity as a stipulation to the loan.

“We are so proud to build these homes and to partner with USDA to provide affordable living options in Wimauma,” said Vanessa Josey, FHP COO. “The program is designed to build a sense of community and ownership that is crucial to its long-term success.”

The community of villas and townhomes will have a variety of environmental and healthy features that will enhance the quality of its residents’ lifestyles.

“We truly see the green space as a meeting spot for the community. We envision them strolling the area in the evenings, playing catch with their children and gathering to enjoy the outdoors on a beautiful fall afternoon,” said Josey.

Attendees included board members as well as current and former FHP clients. Speakers included: Martine Dorvil, FHP board member; Michael Marina, FHP executive director; Josue Robles Caraballo, USF research faculty in Architecture and Urban Design; Kimberly Overman, Hillsborough County Commissioner; Lakeisha Hood, USDA Rural Development state director; Cheryl Howell, Hillsborough County Affordable Housing and Community Development director; and Walter Walker Jr., FHP board member.

FHP expects to start construction of Magnolia Garden Square by the end of the year. For those interested in learning more about affordable housing options through FHP, please visit its website at https://flhome.org/ or call 813-672-7860.

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