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Affordable Housing Art Deco Style In Little Havana

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - It is an Art Deco Classic building built in the 1930s and even though it is not on South Beach, it looks like it belongs there.

The vintage apartment building is in fact in Little Havana, just north of Calle Ocho.

The four-unit apartment is now called "The Eileen" and has been brought back to a radiant life and put to good use.

Chris Rupp is the executive director of Dade Heritage Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving history, including historically significant buildings and homes. He told CBS4, "For our first project of preservation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing we wanted something striking and also had to have the requirements for historic designation."

The term Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing means historical building housing already in place and there is no need to build something new, just rehab it and preserve it. Make the old new again.

Rupp said, "We like to position preservation to solve issues, right? So, affordable housing is a huge issue in Miami."

So, with a million-dollar grant provided by Miami-Dade County, with the building designated historic, purchased and redone, all at the urging of the Dade Heritage Trust, four families have brand new apartments.

What was once almost an almost unlivable apartment is now bright, airy, put back together adhering to its historic past.

A modern kitchen in what was once an 80-year-old dump.

Rupp points out the restored Art Deco fireplace mantel, "New paint job, new impact windows. new plumbing and new electrical," she says. There are the little touches, like in the bathroom, "So we have kept this really cool 1930s tile."

A revolving fund which includes the renters monthly payments pays the building's financial nut. A historic building saved, not demolished and affordable housing created and best of all I asked, "What's it cost to live here?" Chris Rupp replied, "Well are you ready? We have to maintain the affordability, the average rent here is $900 a month."

Solving two Miami problems at once in Little Havana. This building preserved affordable housing and there are similar projects in the pipeline.

The housing crisis is leaving many desperate for help. That's why CBS News Miami wants to share your stories to show the crisis you're in or how you navigated the system. We will highlight these issues and work to get answers and solutions. Send us an email at housing@cbs.com.

 

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