Vitus Group is preserving a 210-unit affordable housing development for seniors in a highly desirable neighborhood of Miami.

Four Freedoms House of Miami Beach is the first Florida acquisition for Vitus Group.
Four Freedoms House of Miami Beach is the first Florida acquisition for Vitus Group.

The 15-story Four Freedoms House of Miami Beach is on Collins Avenue, which runs along the coast and is characterized by hotels and market-rate residential developments. It is the sole affordable housing high-rise development in the area, according to Vitus leaders.

Built in 1965, Four Freedoms House was acquired by Vitus Group for approximately $10.4 million in February. It is the company’s first acquisition in Florida.

“Florida is a dynamic market that has multifaceted housing needs, characterized by rapidly increasing rents in core urban areas. We think it’s extremely important to preserve housing such as Four Freedoms House of Miami Beach and maintain long-term affordability for seniors in such a high-growth neighborhood,” said Stephen Whyte, managing director for Vitus Group, in a statement.

All of the units serve low-income residents, and all residents are expected to remain. Eight-five percent of the units benefit from a Housing Assistance Payment contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which limits the amount of rent that a resident pays to 30% of their income. To benefit the residents in the remaining units, Vitus secured funds from the Miami Housing Authority to subsidize their rents. On average, residents pay approximately $330 in monthly rent compared with an average market rent of approximately $1,065.

Vitus is also in the process of installing a state-of-the-art cooling system.

A service coordinator is on staff to provide residents with services that enable them to remain self-reliant and age in place. The service coordinator works to identify, access, and coordinate services to meet residents’ needs, such as support for the routine activities of daily living. The coordinator is also charged with forming community-based partnerships with other nonprofits and volunteer groups to bring new programs on site, such as workshops to promote health and wellness and food pantry programs.

Since 1996, Vitus, which has offices in Seattle and New York City, has developed and/or acquired more than 9,000 units of affordable housing in over 95 properties across 19 states.