myra-taylor-1.jpgOPA-LOCKA — Melanio Rojas came to Miami in 1996 in search of a better life for himself, his wife and his three children, he likely did not know that he would achieve one of the most important American dreams in this north Miami-Dade city. But he did. The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently to unveil a home for the Rojas family.

The home on Rutland Street is the first the CDC has renovated under a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) grant.

The CDC received $20 million under the program which is intended to strengthen communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandoned homes. It said in a statement that, using the HUD funds, it will rehabilitate 83 homes in Opa-locka and help families qualify to purchase those homes.

In the case of the Rojas’ single-family home, the CDC said it repaired the irrigation system, restored the exterior, replaced the ceilings, removed and replaced all the doors, provided new appliances and ensured the home was in code compliance.

“Recapturing the vacant properties in Opa-locka is critical to the revitalization of this community and will provide affordable housing for dozens of families,” Willie Logan, founder and president of OLCDC, said in a statement.

“We have extensive experience in rehabilitating houses and training qualified homebuyers and any family wanting to relocate in the Opa-locka community should seek our services,” Logan said.

Mercedes Márquez, HUD’s assistant secretary of community planning and development, was a special guest at the ceremony.

Márquez is responsible for more than $7 billion in assistance to America’s communities and administering grant programs that help them plan and finance their growth and development.

Márquez is also responsible for the administration of $4 billion in Housing and Economic Recovery Act funding and $6.75 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor and District 1 Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan spoke at the ribbon-cutting.