Invest: Miami speaks with Ola Aluko, CEO & President, St. John Community Development Corporation

Invest: Miami speaks with Ola Aluko, CEO & President, St. John Community Development Corporation

2021-07-22T16:00:05-04:00August 25th, 2017|Miami|

St. John Community Development Corporation (CDC) was founded by St. John Missionary Baptist Church in 1985. It was founded on the premise to help rid slum and blight in Overtown and to economically empower its residents through development. This long-awaited project will help fill the gap of the much needed “quality” affordable housing stock in Overtown. Much development is occurring around Overtown and projects such as this, within Overtown, will not only serve the residents, but also provide them with a sense of pride and empowerment knowing that they too can live in quality residences. St. John Plaza Apartment has a mix of efciencies – one-, two- and three-bed room apartments. We want to ensure that we cater to the vast array of families – such as the single mothers, single individuals and large families – all who need accommodation. A plus with St. John Plaza is that there is a child-learning center serving children from one to five years old which will be used as a feeder institution into the neighboring elementary schools. We are promoting ourselves as a “true community builder” and will remain in Overtown after the project is finished. We have to ensure that we produce a product that the community can appreciate and enjoy for years to come. Following our objective of empowerment, St. John Town Homes I was designed to enable the ownership of townhomes. It was a way to get those born in Overtown, or those with a close association, to move back and own in Overtown. With St. John Town Homes II we are mirroring that concept; however, as a workforce and affordable housing complex. As a community developer, we have heard the cry by many stating that they are over qualified for affordable housing, but cannot afford market rate housing as it’s offered today. There is a serious need for workforce housing in the Miami-Dade Downtown area. Those who work downtown want to live within minutes from work, but are unable to. Our response to the need is to develop a workforce and affordable housing mix.