Universal Destinations & Experiences, in partnership with Wendover Housing and Orange County, recently marked the beginning of construction for Catchlight Crossings – a first-of-its-kind affordable housing solution in Central Florida.
Vision for Affordable Housing
Universal Destinations & Experiences has called Central Florida home for more than 30 years. Giving back to the community where guests and Team Members live, work and play has always been at the heart of what Universal does. The region is currently facing a significant challenge: affordable housing.
To help address the challenge, Universal’s not-for-profit Housing for Tomorrow donated 20 acres of land just east of the Orange County Convention Center in the International Drive Activity Center to be used exclusively for an affordable housing community – Catchlight Crossings.
Catchlight Crossings supports Orange County’s Housing for All initiative designed to create lasting community-based solutions for expanding housing options, improving affordability, and providing access to diverse and vibrant neighborhoods for Orange County residents.
The Catchlight Crossings Community
Catchlight Crossings features 1,000 high-quality affordable apartment homes, on-site amenities and services, retail and play areas, and access to transportation and nearby jobs. Catchlight Crossings is being developed by Wendover Housing Partners, an expert in affordable housing communities, and designed in partnership with Universal Creative.
The community includes a tuition-free Bezos Academy preschool, educational opportunities in partnership with the University of Central Florida, medical offices, retail and community event space, and an array of amenities, including resort style pools, a fitness center, game room, technology cafes, bike and walking paths, a community garden and four acres of open green space.
A transportation center with buses, ride sharing and employer shuttles will make access to area employers more convenient for residents. Catchlight Crossings will also be near the proposed Sunshine Corridor, a new east-west rail line connecting SunRail’s main line to the Orlando International Airport and the Orange County Convention Center.
Affordability and Accessibility
Catchlight Crossings will remain an affordable community in perpetuity and is open to anyone who meets specific income and resident requirements. The majority of the units – 75 percent – will be designated as affordable and reserved for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area’s median income. Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are a component in financing the development of the community, therefore rents for those units will be set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The first phase of Catchlight Crossings is expected to open in 2026. To stay updated, visit CatchlightCrossings.com.