New affordable housing community planned for St. Johns County neighborhood

Development expected to break ground this summer

Villages of New Augustine will be a 92-unit, new construction apartment community located on three parcels totaling approximately 6.5 acres at the intersection of North Volusia Street and Chapin Street in the West Augustine neighborhood. (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla.Ability Housing on Thursday announced plans for a new affordable housing community in St. Johns County.

The new project, Villages of New Augustine, will be located in West Augustine and have 92 units.

“Housing affordability has been a real challenge for working residents of St. Johns County for many years, but the problem has grown exponentially in the last few years,” said Shannon Nazworth, President and CEO of Ability Housing. “This development will keep working families in St. Augustine, where they can contribute to the area’s unique culture without having to worry about being driven out due to exorbitant increases in rent.”

The $25-million development at the intersection of North Volusia Street and Chapin Street plans to include a community center with on-site leasing offices, a computer lab, a library, flexible spaces for workshops, training and events, outdoor recreational features like a playground, a pavilion and dedicated walking trail and 149 parking spaces.

The development, Ability Housing’s first in St. Johns County, is anticipated to break ground this summer.

RELATED: This group works to find affordable housing for St. Johns County’s homeless population, a mission that’s getting harder

Funding for the project was secured through various state, local and private sources, Ability Housing said.

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved a $460,000 Affordable Housing Grant and a $1,207,134 award of American Rescue Plan Act funds at their June 6 meeting. Additionally, in 2022 the Board passed an ordinance making it possible to defer impact fees, Ability Housing said in a news release.

”We have seen Ability Housing’s success in bringing affordable multifamily housing to Jacksonville for several years, and welcome them as partners and neighbors to St. Johns County,” said Commissioner Sarah Arnold. “Through our collaboration on the Villages of New Augustine development, hundreds of St. Johns County residents will benefit from the opportunity to move into a brand-new, high-quality apartment in the growing West Augustine area.”

MORE: St. Johns County moves to increase price of workforce housing, reduce amount developers have to build

The community will include 20 one-bedroom apartments, 36 two-bedroom apartments and 36 three-bedroom apartments.

Rental prices will be determined by each household’s income. Nearly 80% of the apartments are available for residents earning 60% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

An additional 10% of the units will be set aside for households earning up to 50% AMI, which for a family of four in St. Johns County is $44,250, and the remaining 10% of units will be reserved for households earning up to 33% AMI.

About the Author:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.