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affordable housing

A developer has filed plans for a 29-story apartment building in Downtown Tampa at the site of First Presbyterian Chruch. 

The snip of a ribbon and some laughter and applause were the sounds of the start of home ownership for Helga Torres.

The Tampa single mother of one cut a ribbon last week to open her new home to guests. Hers is one of two homes unveiled as part of the neighborhood’s Sound & Secure Housing program, which allows residents to lease a new home for up to a year before purchasing it.

Tampa Skyline
npr.org

The Tampa and St. Petersburg area ranks among the top cities in the nation for  housing and housing sales. But there are still problems with infrastructure, such as roads.

That’s the word from a study by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which last week named the best U.S. markets for real estate investors.

Chart showing the increase in homelessness caused by the affordable housing shortage.
Miami For All, Inc. & Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, University of Florida

Student homelessness in Florida has almost tripled in the last decade to about 96,000 in the 2017-18 school year.

Those experiencing homelessness score lower on statewide assessments and have a lower high school graduation rate compared to students who are economically disadvantaged but have a place to live.

DAYLINA MILLER / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

By Ti'Anna Davis

Hillsborough County Board Commissioners held a public hearing last week about a proposed budget allocation for affordable housing.

Skyline in downtown St. Petersburg
City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg city officials have announced a ten-year plan to create more affordable housing as rents rise across the region.

Carlton Ward, Jr.

By Steve Newborn

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill late Friday that critics say will gut the state's system of managing growth. The bill also restricts governments from creating affordable housing.

The new law means anyone challenging a development that's inconsistent with that county's existing growth plan would have to pay the other side's attorney's fees if they lose.

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed or majorly damaged more than 7 percent of the homes in the Keys. A lot of those were ground level and mobile homes — what passes for affordable housing on the island chain.

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Marathon to announce a new state program that will provide $140 million for affordable workforce housing.

Fannie Mae's  Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge offers $10 million in awards for affordable housing ideas.
Fannie Mae

A poll by Fannie Mae shows that 46% of American adults would prefer to live in a community with access to better schools and childcare, but cannot afford to do so. In addition, more than half of those polled said places with better job opportunities are too expensive for them to live in.

In response, the government-sponsored mortgage loan company is launching the Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge.

Construction in downtown Tampa
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about zoning and how it affects the way our state manages growth.

It may sound mundane, but zoning and building regulations affect us intimately because they hit us where we live.


Downtown Bradenton in Manatee County.
Manatee County Government

Housing prices and rents continue to rise across Florida. Thursday, a group of community leaders and advocates gathered in Bradenton to discuss Manatee County's ongoing affordable housing crunch at an event sponsored by the Manatee Tiger Bay Club.

Nationwide, an average wage earner would need to spend 32.7 percent of his or her income to buy a median-priced home. But for Manatee residents, that figure is 46.3 percent.

Pastor Steven Kauffman
Hillsborough County TV

Hillsborough County Commissioners Wednesday took a step toward creating its first dedicated source of money for affordable housing. It comes after other money has been repeatedly diverted from a state housing fund.

Housing is scarce and evictions in the Panhandle are on the rise, leaving many with nowhere to go.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

The state Agency for Health Care Administration received federal approval to create a housing assistance pilot program as part of the Florida Medicaid program.

Saratoga Apartments in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg Housing Authority

The St. Petersburg Housing Authority was recently cited by a federal agency for allowing its chief executive officer to live at an apartment complex designated for low-income families.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough lawmakers and developers broke ground on a new workforce housing community in Mango Thursday morning.


Courtesy of Kelsey Swithers

State housing advocates on Tuesday gathered in Tallahassee to call on the Florida Legislature to use all state and local housing trust fund monies for affordable housing. The Sadowski Coalition is made up of 32 statewide organizations, including industry and business groups.

Affordable housing advocates are pleased to hear Governor Ron DeSantis is proposing to dedicate all of the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund to affordable housing in his budget proposal.

Mayor Rick Kriseman delivers State of the City address at Palladium Theater in downtown St. Petersburg.
Ashley Lisenby | WUSF

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman left several controversial issues out of his State of the City address over the weekend at Palladium Theater.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Frederica S. Wilson (D-Miami) have introduced the Safe Temperature Act and re-introduced the Liberty City Rising Act, two pieces of legislation designed to address safety concerns in low income communities.

When Hurricane Irma slammed across the Lower Keys as a Category 4 storm last year, it hammered what passes for affordable housing — mobile homes and older structures that weren't elevated.

For people who are left with a piece of land but not a lot of money to rebuild, Monroe County plans to commission four tiny homes as a pilot project.

Flickr

Alternative kinds of housing like shipping containers and tiny houses are quickly growing in popularity. Could they help relieve some of the pressure from the affordable housing crunch? 


Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer.

And while it's easy to focus on teachers and curriculum as the engines behind a student’s success, housing instability also affects learning. Frequent school moves in childhood can impede academic and social development, research shows.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

On a recent afternoon, 71-year-old Milton Malphus walked into the community room of his senior apartment building to get some lunch. Sporting a flat-rimmed hat, basketball sneakers and a T-shirt covered in pineapples, Malphus said he dresses as young as he feels: 17.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma did a number on Earlene Kelly's home last year. Part of the roof on her Tampa home was ripped off, screens were torn to shreds and sections of the fence had fallen.

The storm hit just weeks after Kelly was told her car needed a new transmission. She had already been stressing over how to pay her mortgage, as her seasonal job as a reading instructor at Hillsborough Community College was coming to an end.

It was a perfect storm of circumstances, and it put Kelly out of the place she had called home for more than 20 years.

Construction in downtown Tampa
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

High above downtown Tampa, giant construction cranes tower near what will become the city’s newest offering in luxury living. The project - 815 Water Street - will feature two towers of apartments and condominiums replete with amenities such as a rooftop bar, fitness center and a ground-level grocery store.

But drive just two miles west, and you will find the bulldozed cinder block remains of what used to be North Boulevard Homes, Tampa’s oldest public housing complex.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

For many people struggling to afford rent in Tampa, owning a home could provide more space, more stability and sometimes even a lower monthly cost.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

Back in October, hundreds of Hillsborough County residents packed the pews of Tampa's First Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

With Hillsborough County in the midst of an affordable housing crunch, developers continue building luxury homes and apartments, especially in Tampa's trendy neighborhoods and downtown. Despite a growing demand for more affordable single-family homes and rentals, private developers aren’t building them.

Maria Gigglioti / WUSF Public Media

WUSF News will be highlighting America's affordable housing crunch and its impact here at home in an upcoming special report.

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