Posted: 2007 Aug 24 - 00:03

 

Hi, Hometown News readers.

 

A man who recently moved back to his Daytona Beach area hometown is single-handedly trying to change the face of low-income neighborhoods, one house at a time. Michael Andersen, 37, returned to the area after his grandfather passed, and with some inheritance, started a company called Casa de Comienzo Fresco - House of New Beginnings.

 

Mr. Andersen invests in low-income neighborhoods, renovating homes there and renting them back to residents at rates they can afford. Mr. Andersen said typical homes for folks who depend on the state to help them live are barely livable.

 

His first property re-do was a former crack house on School Street. It's now a beautiful duplex where Charles Roundtree, 60, hangs his hat. Mr. Roundtree lived on the streets of the city before meeting Mr. Andersen and now proudly shows off granite countertop in the kitchen, a new wood floor and pristine bedroom, all freshly painted.

 

Mr. Andersen is self-financing his business and is just starting his second renovation. All his properties will be rented to locals down on their luck. He said down the road, he may profit off the refurbished properties, but for now, he takes great pleasure in bringing locals to a place they can be really proud to call home.

 

Public housing has a new look in Volusia County. Some very happy new residents joined elected leaders and public workers at the grand opening of the Halifax Park housing development on International Speedway Boulevard east of Nova Road. The Hope 6 project was built to replace project developments that were more than 70 years old until they were bulldozed. The first phase includes 71 units built at a cost of $11 million. The development is designed to be a mix of income levels with some of the units reserved for seniors.

Halifax Community Health System, which operates the hospitals, has changed its name so the community can better identify it. It will now use Halifax Health as the umbrella name for its operation and facilities. Officials conducted an extensive study and found that the shorter name better represents the facilities and is one that works for patients.

Hometown News Copyright 2006

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