New Miami Affordable-Housing Building is ‘Dream Come True’

Laura Stafford, a disabled woman in her 50s, showed off her new Liberty City apartment during Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at Petera’s Place

By Julia Bagg and Juan Ortega
|  Friday, Nov 30, 2012  |  Updated 12:50 PM EDT
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Laura Stafford, a disabled woman in her 50s, showed off her new Liberty City apartment during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Petera's Place. NBC 6 reporter Julia Bagg spoke to Stafford about her new home.

Laura Stafford, a disabled woman in her 50s, showed off her new Liberty City apartment during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Petera's Place. NBC 6 reporter Julia Bagg spoke to Stafford about her new home.

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When Laura Stafford learned she could move into a new affordable-housing building in Miami, she says she praised God.

“I shouted out, ‘Hallelujah!’” she said.

Stafford, a disabled woman in her 50s, showed off her new Liberty City apartment during Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at Petera’s Place, a seven-unit building built with about $1.1 million in federal and state aid.

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The paint was fresh and the sink fixtures were shiny inside Stafford’s residence, situated in the 1500 block of Northwest 60th Street.  Stafford, who recently moved in, considers her apartment a life-changing event.

“Everything is freshly brand new here -- even me, freshly brand new,” she said.  

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Petera’s Place is named after community activist Petera Johnson, who co-founded Empower “U” Inc., a local non-profit group aimed at providing housing for low-income families, the city said. The building will be managed by the organization.

City and housing officials also attended Friday’s event. Christine Stroy-Martin, the director of administration for Empower “U,” walked around the building and looked happy.

“We’ve been waiting for this for two years now,” she said. “So to finally see it come to fruition is a dream come true.”

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