Construction has begun on a $12.4 million, 63-unit affordable housing community in Largo, Fla.

Whispering Palms Apartments will feature a mix of two- and three-bedroom townhome and garden-style apartments. Four units will be for special-needs families.

Developed by the Housing Trust Group (HTG), the community will include a clubhouse, large pool with pergola, fitness center, playground, and computer lab. Residents will have an opportunity to participate in on-site programs such as after-school children’s programs, literacy training, and employment assistance and skills workshops. HTG has incorporated green design and building techniques in the construction of Whispering Palms, in line with requirements for National Green Building Standards. Residential units offer eco-friendly features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, low-VOC paint, Energy-Star qualified appliances, Energy-Star windows, and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

Project financing includes $9.5 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds. There is also construction and permanent debt from JPMorgan Chase and First Housing Development Corp. and a loan from the Pinellas County HOME Investment Partnership program.

Beyond adding to the much-needed inventory of quality affordable rental housing, the development will create approximately 95 jobs during the 12-month construction phase with another 24 permanent jobs at the opening of Whispering Palms, says HTG.

Since 1998, Florida-based HTG has developed more than 3,000 units of multifamily housing.