Harvey Vengroff, a wealthy Sarasota County businessman, wants to transform a Manatee County motel into affordable housing. The housing could be ready as soon as this fall. BY CLAIRE ARONSON caronson@bradenton.com

MANATEE -- Every week, Harvey Vengroff hears from people asking when the Knights Inn will become affordable housing.

With a shortage of affordable housing in Manatee County and a waiting list of more than 300 families in Manatee and Sarasota counties seeking such housing, Vengroff hopes to provide some relief to the market by this fall.

Vengroff, a wealthy Sarasota County businessman who has transformed several motels into affordable housing, wants to redevelop the Knights Inn, 2303 First St., Bradenton, into furnished apartments with water, electricity and cable for $625 a month. Vengroff will be closing on the motel, which is near the intersection of U.S. 301 and U.S. 41, on July 7 for $4.4 million. Renovations at the 240-room property will cost about $1.5 million.

"We are changing those rooms into studio apartments," Vengroff said Thursday. "Some will be for senior citizens. Some will be for families that need a roof over their heads."

In order to make way for the transformation into housing, the zoning must be changed to retail/office/residential from the light industrial zoning. The planning commission Thursday unanimously supported the county-initiated change to the Future Land Use Map, which will go to the county commission for approval June 2.

"The existing future land use doesn't allow residential units," said Rossina Leider, a county planner. "The idea is, this area is going to be revitalized and mixed use allows an improvement in the area."

The zoning change will also allow Vengroff to build two-bedroom apartments on the five extra acres adjacent to the Knights Inn.

"We try to put a future for them and show them how they can move on to something better," Vengroff said. "They may move into a two-bedroom apartment and then a home. There is a progression so that people can get back on their feet."

The first 60 apartments will be done by the end of August, Vengroff said.

In Manatee County, 1,800 children in public school don't have beds, Vengroff said.

"It is really important," he said. "We would like to get it done as soon as possible and get people moved in. We have other apartments in the area but they are all full. We just need affordable housing, and Manatee County has been very cooperative in helping us create it."

This will expand the availability of rental units, said Leslie Loveless, executive director of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness.

"His units are going to provide critical housing to help families with children and individuals and veterans become housed," she said.

Vengroff ran into a roadblock last week in Sarasota in developing nearly 400 affordable apartments, but Vengroff said he expects that proposal to pass at the next commission meeting.

"In Sarasota, it took us 10 years to get a zoning change. In Manatee County, it took less than six months," Vengroff said. "I think the local government is working to solve the problem."

In December, the Manatee County Commission unanimously supported the process for the county-initiated amendment. At the time, Commissioner Betsy Benac called that step "a real show of support for it."

The development of more affordable housing is important in both counties, Vengroff said.

"We just need affordable housing, and Manatee County has been very cooperative in helping us create it," he said.

James Ludera, who owns the USA Transmission near the Knights Inn, said while he is not for or against any changes, it has always been a commercial area.

"If it became highly residential, would it force us to make other changes around there?" he asked.

Turning Points, a Bradenton nonprofit whose mission is to serve the needy of Manatee County, looks forward to working with Vengroff if the zoning change gets approved, said Adell Erozer, Turning Points executive director.

"It would be great for the community for affordable housing," she said.

Commissioner Robin DiSabatino, who has been working with Vengroff to get affordable housing in Manatee County, said this is a huge project for the county.

"I want to first thank Harvey and his team for believing in Manatee County and working with us," DiSabatino said Thursday. "This is huge. Our first step for affordable, workforce housing and kudos to everyone involved."

Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article77157742.html#storylink=cpy

July 20, 2015
Media Contact: Christie Castro
(941) 748-8397

MEDIA ADVISORY: MCSAC Press Conference July 20, 2015 at 7:00 P.M. in front of Carlyn Estates Mobile Home Park, 5611 Bayshore Rd, Palmetto, FL 34221

PALMETTO, FL–On Monday afternoon, Christie Castro, president of the Manatee County Senior Advocacy Center released the following statement:

“Last week, residents of the Carlyn Estates Mobile Home Park in Palmetto notified the Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council regarding property management denying food assistance deliveries to low income and elderly residents,” said Christie Castro.

“The denial of food assistance programs was deemed a potentially life and health related emergency. Members of the Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council met with residents of Carlyn Estates. The Council documented complaints from residents who were advised by property management that food assistance deliveries are no longer allowed,” Castro continued.

“The Council strongly urges local elected officials to work with Carlyn Estates residents and property management to reach a compromise that will allow low income and elderly residents to receive much needed food deliveries,” said Castro.

“We are witnessing an on-going life and health related emergency affecting seniors in Manatee County,” Castro concluded.

The Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council will hold a press conference with affected Carlyn Estates Mobile Home Park residents this evening at 7:00 P.M. at 5611 Bayshore Rd, Palmetto, FL 34221.

Copyright © 2015 Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council, Inc., All rights reserved. 

Our mailing address is: 
Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council, Inc.
1802 59th St West
Bradenton, FL 34207

If you have been watching the news over the last few days then you are in shock like we are.  

The story is so unbelievable that we had to go look for ourselves.  We learned that not only did the report ring true, but the whole truth is much more disturbing than came across on our television screens and social media.

Low Income Seniors in Manatee County, most suffering from multiple disabilities including cancer and diabetes have been allegedly threatened with bodily harm and possible immediate eviction if the seniors accept food just one more food delivery from a local food pantry that supplements for people who can not afford to purchase food and many who do not have the ability to personally get to the pantry or food bank to pick up their own food.

The 28 neighbors all living in separate units at a 55+ park in Palmetto, Florida in Manatee County have banded together helping each other and looking out for one another.  They have earned the nickname of the "Carlyn 28".  These seniors have worked hard to create positive lives, some of whom are volunteers themselves, helping other seniors on a weekly basis. 

Even small donations will make a big difference.  We are raising money for food, transportation, legal fees and other emergency costs to help these residents turn their suffering into hope and a better future.

Our purpose is for a happy peaceful dwelling for everyone.

Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council is a non-profit organization helping seniors in our community!

We are holding our annual membership Drive on Friday June 26th from 6-9 pm

Join members for dancing, karaoke, and networking at  H2U 6670 Cortez RD West, Bradenton, 34210

Hors D’oeuvres provided, BYOB Cost is $5.00 

Bradenton, FL  (November 20, 2014) – MANATEE COUNTY SENIOR ADVOCACY  COUNCIL, INC., the leading nonprofit organization that establishes a network of professionals to identify, advocate and assist underserved Seniors of Manatee County with appropriate referrals and services to community resources, will hold an Open House and Holiday Party in Bradenton on December 10th, 2014, Powered by Health To You and Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council Board Members.

 The event will be open to the public and is completely free to all raising awareness of programs in Bradenton.

“We are thrilled to see that so many members stepped up and gave in support of this event. This event is perfect for the public to get a chance to meet SAC's membership and learn more about our future plans in Manatee County." says Christie Castro, President of Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council and Event Organizer. The event will be held at Health To You’s Bradenton office,  at 6670 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210. Both the open house and party will take place from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. 
To learn more please visit http://manateesenioradvocacy.org/events.

To get involved, please contact:

Christie Castro
(941) 779-4799

An innovative non-profit organization on Florida's Gulf Coast is opening doors and changing lives forever.  Whether you are in need of help or looking to lend your support, the surprising and original Manatee Senior Advocacy Council, Inc.

Just picture it!  But wait . . .  It’s not what you might think!  It’s not buying tops for seniors, it’s a fantastic local non-profit raising money to help local seniors in need by offering T-shirts for sale for a limited time only!

The Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council, Inc. (MSAC) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization spreading the news to both seniors in need as well as the community at large with T-shirts.  

If you haven’t heard of MSAC before you aren’t aware of all of their good works either, meeting the unmet needs of seniors in the community by offering grants on a per need basis and these fun shirts are making it happen!  Grants include necessities for seniors who don’t enjoy the means to purchase basics as well as through financial assistance with personal emergency response systems, medically necessary dental expenses, and medically necessary durable medical equipment.

To buy your shirt and support seniors, go to http://teespring.com/MSAC.

It’s simple and easy to lend a hand - order a shirt!  You don’t pay now, only if and when Manatee Senior Advocacy Council, Inc. reaches their quota of shirts.  That’s how TeeSpring works to boost the incredible cause.  How ideal to fundraise in a way that anyone can participate, even senior to senior.


Be a super hero and buy a shirt for seniors, today - click here before time runs out!

Prom event to benefit area seniors.

BRADENTON -- Senior Advocacy Council's Second Chance Prom will be from 6-11 p.m. March 1 with proceeds helping needy seniors of Manatee County.

The dining and dancing event is at the Central Manatee Banquet Hall, 509 Ninth St. E.

The event will feature complimentary cocktails, butler-passed heavy hors d'oeuvres, carving stations and dessert. Tickets are $50 pre-sale, $75 at the door. To purchase tickets call 941-779-4799.

All net proceeds will benefit Manatee County Senior Advocacy Council Inc., an organization that grants the wishes of senior citizens with threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

-- Herald staff reports

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2013/10/31/4801660/local-briefs-second-chance-prom.html#storylink=cpy