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Florida Housing Coalition

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.

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.

Like everywhere in Florida, Hillsborough County has a lack of affordable housing.

The issue has grown more acute due to a growing population, deep federal cuts to subsidized housing programs, and stagnant wages.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

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