Dream come true: Residents move into affordable Pendana complex

Before Charlene Caines moved into LIFT Orlando’s new affordable housing complex this week, the single mom and her four boys had been crammed into her sister’s two-bedroom apartment.

Now, she has a three-bedroom apartment for $716 per month — about half the market rate — in the Pendana at West Lakes project about a mile south of Camping World Stadium.

“It feels like a dream,” said Caines, 34, a part-time server at Walt Disney World. “It feels good to come home to my own place, and the boys can do all these things now and have their own room.”

In all, about 40 units have been filled so far in a complex where 8,000 people inquired about the 201 apartments available. More than half of the new residents are benefiting from reduced rent courtesy of creative financing of the project that includes government tax credits.