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Housing

A map of where people outside of Tampa are looking for apartments in the metro.
ApartmentList

By Bradley George

Florida attracts newcomers from everywhere in the U.S. and around the world. An apartment rental website has released a report that looks at the most popular sites where people are considering a move.

National Low Income Housing Coalition description of Florida's wages and rent in 2019.
National Low Income Housing Coalition

By Ti'Anna Davis

Floridians must work the equivalent of three full-time minimum wage jobs just to afford a modestly priced two-bedroom apartment in the state. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

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


Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Army and Air Force leaders have ordered inspections of housing on their bases amid reports about unsafe conditions. 

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.

Construction in downtown Tampa
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa City Council will consider changing some of its parking requirements for developers at a meeting on January 10.

Supporters of the proposal say it would help boost the city's housing stock.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Two U.S. senators and three congressmen are asking federal officials to bring recreational vehicles and mobile homes to the Florida Panhandle to help residents who lost their homes to Hurricane Michael.

Roberto Roldan

Many Puerto Rican’s lost everything when Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, 2017. Tens of thousands of people made the decision to take what belongings they had left and travel to the mainland. Many have started new lives in Central and South Florida. These new Floridians already have had significant influence on political races, the public school system and affordable housing.

This week on Florida Matters, we'll hear the stories of two people who chose to make the Tampa Bay area their new home:

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico last September, Julio Ildefonso and his mother watched as their wooden home in Bayamón was blown away.

When veterans with war injuries need accessible housing, they often have few options.

Zillow

If you're looking to buy your first home, search no further than right here in the Tampa Bay area.

Real estate website, Zillow, recently ranked Tampa as the number one market for first-time home buyers.

FEMA is extending housing assistance for Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria.

The extension lasts through March 20. Puerto Rico’s government asked for the extension of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program as more than a third of the island remains without power.

But the Rev. Jose Nieves of the First United Methodist Church of Kissimmee says many families and hotels where they are staying have not yet gotten the word.

Housing officials are worried local governments are under-utilizing money that could fund affordable rentals. The state’s demand for rental units hasn’t slowed since before the Great Recession. But according to state housing officials, most local governments aren’t using available public money to build affordable rentals. 

Florida lawmakers want to stop their colleagues from spending money meant for affordable housing on other projects. The move comes after Hurricane Irma battered and destroyed Floridians’ homes.

Houses in areas prone to natural disasters across the country are increasing in value.

While that might not make sense, that was the finding of a yearly nationwide study by ATTOM Data Solutions, a company dedicated to crunching housing numbers.

After Hurricane Irma, there have been lots of conversations about how best to rebuild given the area's elevation and tendency to flood, even on sunny days.

Does investing in public housing keep people healthier?


M.S. Butler

When it comes to children, the definition of homeless includes more children than you may think.

Under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act children and youth who "lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are considered homeless." That means children who are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds -- or doubled-up with relatives or friends  --are homeless, as well as those who stay in shelters, on the street or in abandoned buildings.

Vacation Home Sales Up 10 Percent, "Tight" Inventory

Apr 3, 2013
Florida Realtors Association

There's been a 10 percent increase in vacation home sales in 2012 from the year before. That's the word from an annual survey by the national association of realtors.

The survey on Investment and Vacation Home Buyers says the median price of a vacation home last year was $150,000. That number was about $30,000 less in 2011.

For the first time in years, renters outnumber homeowners in Tampa, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Experts attribute the shift to higher mortgage qualification standards, plummeting credit scores and young adults who are gun-shy about buying a home after witnessing their parents' misfortune.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images News

Florida’s economy presents a challenge to the two presidential candidates.

The state’s unemployment rate has fallen over the past year. And home prices in Tampa and Miami markets are starting to rebound.

President Obama is trying to argue that’s a good reason for his reelection.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney wants voters to think things would have been better if not for Obama.