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 | Keishla Espinal

Construction Begins on New Affordable Housing for Seniors in Hillsborough County

On December 19, 2023, over 100 people gathered for the groundbreaking and blessing of a new housing project to be located on the grounds of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, in Seffner. The Diocese of St. Petersburg, Catholic Charities, and Blue Sky Communities have partnered on this project that will provide affordable housing to seniors in need.

Casa Di Francesco is scheduled to open in Spring of 2025, and will offer 140 apartment units, comprising of one or two-bedrooms.

“Catholic Charities was very honored to be asked to help the parish as well as Blue Sky Communities move this project along, and we look forward to the extra 140 units in our community, which is certainly a need with the growing housing crisis,” said Maggie Rogers, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg

Once completed, the apartment complex will include various amenities, such as a clubhouse, exercise room, library, and craft room. Plus, there will be a walking trail, community garden, and picnic area.

Shawn Wilson, President of Blue Sky Communities stated, “These apartments will offer those 62 and older the opportunity to live out their golden years in dignity and comfort. We are really happy to be a part of the solution.”

During the groundbreaking, Deacon Rick Wells, Chancellor for Canonical Affairs, blessed the property with holy water.

“We are following the footsteps of our patron saint St. Francis of Assisi; we serve the poor, the homeless, try to feed them, and respect them with dignity. We welcome everyone who comes through our doors regardless of who they are,” said Father Edison Bernavas, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish.

Applications for Casa Di Francesco have not yet opened. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no religious requirements for living at Casa Di Francesco. 

In 2018, Bishop Gregory Parkes announced that increasing affordable housing for people in need was a priority for the Diocese of St. Petersburg as the faithful strive to Courageously Live the Gospel.

To learn more, click here.

To view photos from the Groundbreaking and Blessing Ceremony, click on the arrow below.

Casa di Francesco Groundbreaking Ceremony