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Disney to build 1,300 units of affordable housing near its Central Florida theme parks

Addressing an acute need for affordable housing, Disney is making 80 acres of land available for 1,300 homes. The development will be located just outside Walt Disney World in Orlando and is being planned with the aim of fostering a strong community.

Housing will be available to both Disney workers and the general public. Nearby Flamingo Crossings Town Center — also owned by Disney — offers 'lodging, retail and dining in a pedestrian-friendly environment' and is breaking ground on an emergency care facility.

Disney isn't the only Florida theme park to tackle the housing crisis; last month, Universal announced that it is setting aside 20 acres of prime land in the heart of Orlando's tourist corridor to be used for 1,000 units of affordable/mixed-income housing.

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Obviously, Disney needs to start off by paying a living wage. But living wages won't fix the fact that rent and home prices continue to outpace wage growth. Florida is far from unique in grappling with a shortage of homes, with demand eclipsing supply in many parts of the world.

A safe place to live is one of our most basic human needs. If free markets and governments fail to fulfill that need, time for other employers to follow suit and put their land, resources and political power to use?

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Image: Artist's rendition of housing development © Disney