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Hospital Eyes Housing as Prime Recruiting Tool

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 14, 2012

Sometime in late 2013 the doors will open on a $35 million, 230-unit apartment complex in downtown Orlando that will offer its residents a five-minute walking commute to Florida Hospital Orlando.

Florida Hospital won't own the building, which is centerpiece of a new 114-acre Health Village. Instead, the health system sold the land to a local developer who agreed to give Florida Hospital employees a three-month preferred leasing option before the apartments are made available to the general public. When all apartments are rented, hospital employees will be bumped to the top of a waiting list while the hospital contemplates building more apartments.

Jody Barry, administrative director, strategic property development at Florida Hospital, says the project, which breaks ground in July, could serve as a valuable recruiting tool. "We're located in a fairly urban environment. We do have a hard time recruiting nurses and various specialties as well. Our thought was how can we create a competitive advantage in recruiting?" Barry tells HealthLeaders Media.

The availability of safe, convenient, and affordable housing in a major urban area would be a prized asset for any hospital, especially when recruiting from out of state.

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