Katie Dore spent the summer on pins and needles.

Like hundreds of Sarasota County residents, the 31-year-old preschool teacher had put her name in the hat for a unit at Lofts on Lemon in downtown Sarasota, a long-awaited workforce housing development. 

For over a year Dore commuted more than 100 miles a day from her mother’s home in Ellenton, where the family had moved to escape soaring rents, to work, her daughters’ school and back.

Now for some residents struggling to find affordable rentals amid the housing crisis, the anxious wait is over. Dore and dozens of other applicants received word regarding a spot in the 128-unit, five-story multifamily complex in the heart of downtown – with 76 general affordable workforce units and 52 specifically reserved for teachers, firefighters, law enforcement and nurses.

Dore learned at the end of August that she had been approved for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Lofts on lemon for $1,100 a month.

In early October Dore and the girls started to move in, along with about three dozen other households so far.

“I do love it! I get my own kitchen,” Dore said as the girls buzzed happily around her, photos she intends to frame spread out across the expansive quartz countertops. “I’m very excited to be with the girls on my own.”

Officials seemed just as excited to have residents step into the building’s brightly lit and colorful hotel-like lobby. 

Read the full Sarasota Herald-Tribune article »

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