By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s a Christmas week move-in that was a long time coming for some Overtown residents as renovations on the first of 116 affordable housing apartments were completed.

“It took some time and we were able to hook up with the construction team who has given us Coral Gables in Overtown,” one resident said.

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The renovation project was extensive, including plumbing, electrical, tile and all new appliances at the Town Park Plaza South at 1700 NW 5 Ave.

The project was funded by the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency.

Miami city commissioners keep making progress in providing affordable housing for constituents.

“What they want to do is live in quality housing because that’s what they believe they deserve,” said Commissioner Jeffrey Watson. “And if their desire is to do it, we are going to help them get that done.”

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Residents like Cara Colon are moving back in to apartments they left over year ago while the renovations were completed. It’s a “home for Christmas” story.

“Very excited, so happy, glad to be back home. It’s been a year, so I am happy to be back,” she said.

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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, as a commissioner, voted for the CRA-community redevelopment project.

“This is a huge story of what CRAs should be doing. They should be investing in their community. The dollars to grow people’s pride, live affordably in the community they have grown up in. It should not be taken away from them,” he said.

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Too often new affordable housing projects built from the ground up are really not affordable at all, forcing out of their communities. That’s not the case here.