Walt Disney World Announces Location, Developer for Affordable and Attainable Housing Initiative
November 16, 2022
In 2022, Disney committed to contributing nearly 80 acres of land for a new affordable housing development. The development is located just a few miles away from the Magic Kingdom, near schools and shopping, including Flamingo Crossings Town Center. The development is expected to include more than 1,300 units.
The Michaels Organization, a prominent and visionary developer known for creating high-quality homes in communities in many states, including Florida, was chosen to build, own, and operate the property.
The development is expected to be privately financed and limited to applicants within a certain income range.
“For more than 50 years, Walt Disney World has cared for and invested in our community, and we’re committed to being a part of this solution which will bring more attainable housing to Central Florida,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We will continue to find ways to use our resources to make a difference in the community we call home, and we’re excited to take this step with a nationally recognized developer.”
After a thorough search, The Michaels Organization was chosen for its long-standing track record in building and managing attainable housing communities. Negotiations between Walt Disney World and The Michael’s Organization on a definitive agreement for the initiative are underway. The development will be open for qualifying applicants, including Disney cast members.
“We are excited to work with an iconic brand like Disney to deliver attainable housing for the Central Florida community,” said Michaels CEO John J. O’Donnell. “Our goal is to create a repeatable model that we hope will inspire other companies and municipalities to create high quality, attainable housing in their own communities.”
This initiative will help offer a viable solution to one of the nation’s greatest challenges and will support and build upon Orange County’s Housing for All action plan to address housing affordability for local residents, an action plan brought about by the passion and leadership of Mayor Jerry Demings.
Attainable housing is one of many ways Disney engages with local leaders to help the community find lasting solutions to this issue — from donations, to supplies, to the Disney VoluntEARS program and more. You may remember that, in 2022, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort donated $300K to local food banks to support people in the community facing food insecurity. That donation was part of the $5.5M Walt Disney World has contributed to important community causes during the ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration, including organizations on the frontline of addressing the need for affordable housing.
Stay tuned for more details on Disney’s affordable housing initiative, including details on the construction timeline, as this work continues!