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University Area

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.

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.

University Area Community Development Corporation

Residents of  Tampa’s University Area will have more options for affordable housing in the coming months.

Dozens of new houses will be rented out for $600 to $700 per month. It's part of the University Area Community Development Corporation’s plan to transform the neighborhood sometimes derided as "Suitcase City," because of it's lack of permanent residents. The hope is that the program will increase home ownership rates.